SE Blogs

Our blogs are short commentaries on current affairs issues.

The Euro, Like The Gold Standard, Is Doomed To Fail

Ann Pettifor

On 20th July, 2015 Jacques Delors reached the grand old age of ninety years. President Hollande saluted the elder statesman and told Journal du Dimanche, that “in the past week the European spirit (had) prevailed” in addressing the Greek crisis. This referred to the long, brutal and historic overnight negotiations of 12th July, between Eurozone leaders […]

Job Polarisation In Europe: Are Mid-Skilled Jobs Disappearing?

Enrique Fernández-Macías

If we look at what kinds of jobs have expanded most in recent years, we can split European countries into two: those that experienced job polarization (with ‘good’ and ‘bad’ jobs growing, and the middling type shrinking relatively) and those that experienced upgrading (with a relative expansion of ‘good’ jobs). These patterns can be traced […]

Questions For The Left From The Greek Debacle

Ronald Janssen

There is no point in denying reality. By crushing a rebellious Greek government and disciplining its voters, the ‘Masters of Austerity’ have won a great victory. Implications extend far beyond Greece itself. What is now being inflicted upon Greece rams home the message that the dismal results of austerity policy are preferable compared to the […]

Why Social Investments Bring Multiple Benefits

Josef Woess

Austerity measures put social cohesion at immense risk and restrain the growth dynamic in Europe. Furthermore, these measures have massively damaged the confidence of citizens in European and national institutions. Failing to solve problems such as high unemployment or a lack of social infrastructure is a very expensive option, associated with massive costs for individuals […]

What Do The Greek People Really Want?

Yiannis Kitromilides

In 2015 the Greek people voted against austerity twice, in a general election and in a referendum. Opinion polls also consistently suggested that an overwhelming majority of Greek people wanted their country to remain in the eurozone and the EU. Are these demands contradictory? Is continued membership of the monetary union incompatible with opposition to […]

Do Benefits Reach Those Who Are Entitled To Them?

Hans Dubois

Some people receive benefits they are not entitled to. However, the opposite problem seems much more common: many people in Europe do not receive the benefits they are entitled to under national laws. Public debate has focused on the first issue, while the second has been largely ignored. Eurofound’s research on ‘access to benefits’ addresses […]

The Myth Of The EU’s €35bn Investment Package For Greece

André Kühnlenz (source: Peroutka/WirtschaftsBlatt)

We can all recall an enthusiastic Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. Shortly before negotiations with Greece broke off at the end of June he supposedly promised Alexis Tsipras an investment package worth €35bn. At first glance this sounded pretty generous, particularly for a country in which, since 2010, the stock of capital has shrunk because Greeks […]

Ireland And Greece

Simon Wren-Lewis

Ireland is often regarded as a success story for Eurozone austerity, compared to the total failure of Greece. That can lead to nonsense like this: instead of whingeing, the Greeks should buckle under and get on with it as Ireland has done. An alternative narrative is to explain the different experience of the two economies by […]

Greek Theme Park ‘Dettoland': A Modest Anti-crisis Proposal

Peter Rossman

Where there’s a will there’s a way, Chancellor Merkel reminds us. Now that the IMF has revisited the numbers and (again) come up with the unsurprising conclusion that Greek debt is hugely unsustainable, it’s time to revisit the proposal for a Greek asset fund. Like the debt sustainability figures based on growth and budget projections […]

Greece Surrendered, But The Real Defeat Was For Europe

Michael Cox

In a recent article on the Greek crisis, I argued that a much bigger game was being played out in Europe over Greece – and the name of that game was deterrence. In plain English, make the terms of any deal with any rebellious, indebted, government in Europe so tough – almost unacceptable – that nobody in […]

On The Euro Summit’s Statement On Greece: First Thoughts

Yanis Varoufakis

In the next hours and days, I shall be sitting in Parliament to assess the legislation that is part of the recent Euro Summit agreement on Greece. I am also looking forward to hearing in person from my comrades, Alexis Tsipras and Euclid Tsakalotos, who have been through so much over the past few days. […]

REFIT: An Incipient European Outbreak Of Legislative Anorexia

Christophe Degryse

Fifteen years ago, in an official European Commission (EC) publication, Klaus-Dieter Borchardt (at that time Chief Administrator at the Commission’s Legal Service) drew attention to the European Union’s striking character as a twofold legal construct: simultaneously a creation of law and a community governed by law, the EU’s most innovative feature, he asserted, is that it seeks […]