In his opinion article “The Eurozone crisis and the future of Europe, as viewed from Greece“, Manos Matsaganis, Associate Professor at the Athens University of Economics and Business, explains that the necessity of imposing austerity measures to combat the economic crisis in a country where prosperity does not seem to be returning anytime in the near future, has become a dire reality both for rulers and their voters.
Matsaganis points out that many misconceptions still abound even about the basic facts of causes and implications related to the Greek economic crisis. At the same time, the need to clarify “what went wrong and why” is an even more urgent task in Greece, being far more affected by the European crisis than any other economy.
Moreover, he assesses that while in Greece people’s immature perceptions about the country’s debt, “have been given a pseudo-intellectual patina by university professors who should have known better”, the same thing can also be said of politicians in northern EU member states who labeled the Eurozone crisis “as if it were a simple story of lazy and corrupt southerners living beyond their means”. In fact, politicians in northern Europe “never acknowledged nor explained to their voters that the European rescue of Greece was also, if not primarily, the rescue of over-exposed French and German banks by European taxpayers”.
As for the economists, they “have not been of great help either in predicting the Great Recession, or in preventing the Eurozone crisis while many in the profession now accept that mainstream economics underestimated the destructive tendencies of unregulated finance”. Finally, the author assesses that what is at stake today, is “our capacity to build a European economy that is dynamic as well as sustainable”, and to accept our need to bring out Greece’s comparative advantages and upgrade the country’s productive capacities as a crucial step to safeguard the monetary union.
TAGS: CRISIS | ECONOMY & DEVELOPMENT