The so called ‘Troika’ of the European Commission, European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund was frequently criticised during the Eurozone crisis on the basis that it had imposed austerity on countries requiring a bailout. But how accurate was this picture in reality? Drawing on new research in Ireland, Rod Hick writes that the nature of Troika supervision […]
In its efforts to tackle banking crisis and avoid a bailout, Slovenia is now facing a crisis of democracy.
In recent months, many commentators have turned their attention towards Slovenia, with some predicting that the country may soon need to request a bailout from the ‘Troika’. With this in mind, Slovenia’s government has moved to push through a package of tax increases, public sector pay cuts, privatisations and bank reforms. Nicole Lindstrom argues that while the government’s reform agenda […]
The second Greek rescue programme was not merely late, but also insufficient, making a third programme inevitable.
Last week the IMF published a review of the financial assistance given to Greece during its debt crisis. One of the key limitations identified in the report was that debt relief for the country was provided far later than it should have been. Waltraud Schelkle writes on the fallout from the report, which generated angry responses from both the European […]
Brussels blog round-up for 1 – 7 June: IMF admits mistakes in Greek bailout, Brussels vs Brussels, and a red card for EU legislation?
Chris Gilson takes a look at the week in Brussels blogging. The EU centre and the crisis One of the main stories this week is the IMF’s admission that it made mistakes in the way that it and its Troika partners of the EU and European Central Bank (ECB) carried out Greece’s first bailout in 2010. The European Commission strongly disagreed […]
Competing bureaucratic mandates have produced a ‘clash of organisations’ that impedes effective crisis management in Europe.
How does regional economic integration impact upon global economic governance? André Broome examines the evolution of bureaucratic cooperation between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Union between the signing of the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 and the launch of the euro in 1999. He finds that the exercise of informal influence by advocates for change within international organisations […]
Brussels blog round-up for 6 – 12 April: Germany expects praise, Thatcher’s legacy for Europe, and will Juan Carlos abdicate?
Chris Gilson takes a look at the week in Brussels blogging. The EU centre and the crisis Portugal’s constitutional court recently rejected the terms of that country’s bailout by the EU/ECB/IMF Troika. Lost in EUrope praises the judges for upholding the country’s constitution, even as some media and Germany claim that the decision will mean the worsening of Portugal’s financial problems. […]
The recent political history of Greece highlights the risk that the euro might become unaffordable for the mass of Europeans
The Greek MYPLACE team at Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences reflect on the recent political history of Greece. They argue that the unfolding of the ‘Grexit’ discourse, which equates the common currency with recessionary austerity measures, holds important lessons about the broader direction of travel within the Eurozone. For the last three years Greek society has been experiencing an economic, […]
While the negotiations over Cyprus’s bailout agreement have been extremely controversial, this month also saw the EU and IMF relax the terms of their financial assistance to Portugal. Alexandre Afonso details some of the main reasons why Portugal has been treated much more leniently in negotiations. Despite falling short of economic targets, the country has been praised for its determination […]
The Cypriot banking crisis shows that Europeans have yet to work out the answer to the question, ‘who pays?’
The past week has been a tumultuous one for Cyprus, with negotiations and renegotiations towards a bailout for the country’s embattled banks. While an agreement has finally been struck, Iain Begg writes that the crisis is a direct result of an over-extended banking system: something that also affects other Eurozone members. The solution, to make bank depositors pay, could undermine […]
On Tuesday the Cypriot parliament rejected an international bailout deal aimed at keeping the country’s struggling banks afloat. The most controversial part of the agreement was a proposed €5.8 billion deposit levy on Cypriot bank deposits. Adonis Pegasiou writes that the agreement, pushed for by Germany, may create a precedent that will see a fall in confidence in other countries […]
The troika should recognise the efforts made by Portugal to rebalance its finances and adjust the country’s bailout conditions.
In May 2011 Portugal negotiated an IMF-EU bailout package of 78 billion euros, designed to help the country stabilise its finances. In return Portugal agreed to implement a number of reforms, with a target to reduce its budget deficit to 2.5 per cent by 2014. Paulo Trigo Pereira assesses the country’s progress over the last two years, and suggests some […]
Brussels blog round-up for 23 February – 1 March: Beppe Grillo shocks Berlin and Brussels, Putin’s Eurasian Union ambitions, and should bankers’ bonuses be capped?
Chris Gilson and Stuart A Brown take a look at the week in Brussels blogging. The EU centre and the crisis According to Open Europe, after weekend elections, Cyprus is currently in the process of negotiating a large bailout, from the EU, IMF and the ECB. Real Time Europe reports that these negotiations must be successful by 3 June – when […]
In Cyprus, the Troika should be promoting health reforms towards universal coverage, not derailing them.
Last November, the Troika agreed a Memorandum of Understanding with Cyprus, which also made special reference to the country’s health sector. Ahead of Presidential elections in Cyprus on Sunday, Jonathan Cylus, Irene Papanicolas and Mamas Theodorou argue that some of the key recommendations of the Memorandum, such as eliminating access to healthcare at reduced rates, and increasing some fees, threaten […]
Slovenia’s membership of the euro is only partly to blame for the country’s economic problems, however it could prove a decisive obstacle to carrying out necessary reforms.
Slovenia became the thirteenth member of the eurozone when it adopted the single currency in 2007. As Luka Oreskovic writes, the country was initially held up as a success story of the enlargement process, but the economic situation has deteriorated significantly since the start of the financial crisis. He argues that while joining the eurozone is not entirely to blame […]
After difficult votes in parliament, Greece’s Coalition needs strong leadership and unity to implement needed reforms.
This week saw the Greek Parliament pass its new budget for 2013, thus allowing it access to further financial aid. Kevin Featherstone writes that this vote of confidence is in danger of being overshadowed by the Opposition SYRIZA party’s attacks on the Coalition. He argues that the government must give a voice to those in Greece who wish to remain […]
Threatening to leave the eurozone may be Ireland’s only way to break the link between its sovereign and bank debt.
Ireland faces a heavy fiscal and structural adjustment programme imposed by the Troika at the same time as some EU countries insist that it continues to pay the debt of its failed banks. With Spain now getting assistance for its banks under the European Stability Mechanism, Aidan Regan argues that there are different rules for different eurozone countries. He writes […]
While Greece’s new government has survived the summer’s tests and some of the public’s trust has been restored, further turmoil likely lies ahead.
Since its election in June, the new Greek government has been working hard to restore the trust of the public. In a ‘postcard’ from Greece Theofanis Exadaktylos finds that an apparent relaxation of the Greek public’s mood may be more to do with the languor of a hot summer and headlines that divert attention away from the deficiencies of the […]
The Greek government’s target of zero public sector layoffs and the troika’s of 150,000 over ten years are both ultimately self-defeating.
The new Greek government recently announced that there would be no layoffs in the public sector, flying in the face of the country’s agreements with the IMF and the ECB to implement public administration reforms. For Kevin Featherstone, the futility of this target is matched by the troika’s (the ECB, EU, and IMF) demand for 150,000 public sector job cuts […]
How Argentina’s provincial governments operated, after the country’s debt default in 1998, has many possible lessons for Greece now
The prospect of a Greek exit from the Euro, or of Greece defaulting on its government debts, has created huge anxiety because both appear to be steps into the complete unknown. However, Mark Hallerberg argues that looking at the potentially similar case of Argentina’s debt default can suggest interesting temporary solutions. From 1998 to 2001 Argentina’s provinces coped with many […]
More than a week after Greece’s elections, a political stalemate still stands, with no party able to form a stable government. Nikitas Konstantinidis argues that the demands placed on Greece from international organisations such as the IMF and the EU have strained its political system to a near breaking point. The solutions to Greece’s crisis now rest with Paris, Berlin […]