As Greece’s Syriza government approaches its 100th day in office, a heated debate persists among international commentators on the political dilemmas and prospects facing the European project.
As regards the effects of a possible Grexit, world-system theorist Immanuel Wallerstein argues (The Greek Melodrama, or Who Really Wants What?, May 1, 2015) that many world actors (notably German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaüble, who is focused on the principle of debt repayment) insist that a Grexit is something the Eurozone could endure, whilst others, like German Chancellor Angela Merkel, fear it may lead to the disintegration of the eurozone and even the collapse of the European Union. Wallerstein espouses a third view, that there is no way of predicting the outcome of a Grexit, given the total uncertainty of how the market or any other institution will react. One has therefore to choose one’s priorities, he concludes, and Syriza has to keep to its electoral promises, i.e. to minimize the pain of the great majority in Greece.
On the opportunities for exiting the crisis, Professor Gesine Schwan, Chairwoman of the Basic Values Commission of Germany’s SPD, suggests (Greece And Germany: What Are The Real Political Issues?, April 27, 2015) the German government abandon its current austerity policy that has damaged Greece as well as other southern countries, whilst Greece’s new government should be viewed as a final opportunity to exit the crisis without social unrest, and concludes with a 10-point programme - which includes a moratorium on repayment of public debt, provisions about tax collection and redistribution, combating corruption, administrative reforms, and investments - that might serve as the basis for a deal.