Dec 6 2016

Brain drain and the Greek crisis

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By Lois Labrianidis and Manolis Pratsinakis

In the context of the debt crisis, recession, austerity and their socio-political consequences, Greece is experiencing a new major wave of out-migration. Emigration has become a survival strategy for many people who are finding it hard to make ends meet, while, at the same time, it has also emerged as an increasingly appealing option for others in less pressing need, who see their chances of socioeconomic advancement severely reduced. One dimension of this multifaceted phenomenon concerns the emigration of graduates, which accounts for approximately two-thirds of the outflow. Continue reading

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Dec 1 2016

The Greek crisis: An autopsy

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By Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, Thomas Philippon, Dimitri Vayanos

The Greek crisis is one of the worst in history, even in the context of recorded ‘trifecta’ crises – the combination of a sudden stop with output collapse, a sovereign debt crisis, and a lending boom/bust. This column quantifies the role of each of these factors to better understand the crisis and formulate appropriate policy responses. While fiscal consolidation was important in driving the drop in output, it accounted for only for half of that drop. Much of the remainder can be explained by the higher funding costs of the government and private sectors due to the sudden stop.  Continue reading

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Oct 13 2016

The Political Economy of NPLs resolution: Ownership and conditionality

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eleniBy Eleni Panagiotarea

Greece’s non-performing exposure ratio is the second highest in Europe, largely linked to the unprecedented contraction of domestic economic activity in recent years. Causality is known to go both ways, with persistently high non-performing loans (NPLs) constituting a drag on credit and GDP growth. Theoretically, Greek governments keen to reduce the debt overhang and restore the productive pillars of the economy should have created the conditions for a rapid and effective workout of NPLs. The country’s third bailout programme has provided a road map for reform, with the Institutions bent on facilitating or enforcing ownership. Conditionality, anchored on a ‘reforms for cash’ logic, has reduced perceived or real margins for noncompliance. Continue reading

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Sep 16 2016

The Greek crisis is a crisis of production, not of public finance

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Antigone-Lyberaki104x147By Antigone Lyberaki

The Greek economic crisis is a crisis of production. Its key actor is a unique feature of the economy, the Greek family firm. Seen through that prism, the crisis is simply another episode in the story of how small firms tried to fit into the world economy as that was becoming increasingly globalized. Continue reading

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Jul 19 2016

Grexit and Brexit, past and future: Intertwined tales?

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Platon914_smBy Platon Tinios

Only one letter separates Grexit from Brexit. Against expectations Grexit (from the Eurozone) did not materialise in 2015. A year later, expectations were also confounded as Brexit (from the EU) inexorably unfolds. The two processes, one contingent and the other all too real, have intertwined in the past: the Greek crisis provided a potent image of what leaving the EU could avoid.  Grexit was instrumental in bringing forth Brexit. In the future, the causality will be reversed: Brexit will change the background and the rules where the decisive acts of the Greek crisis will be played out. Continue reading

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Jun 29 2016

How Brexit will affect the balance of power in the European Parliament

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By Angelos Chryssogelos

Given the UK has one of the largest contingents of MEPs, how will Brexit change the way political parties are aligned in the European Parliament? Angelos Chryssogelos writes that the effects of removing British MEPs from the Parliament will be wide-ranging, with sovereigntist forces potentially strengthened inside the centre-right EPP, the centre-left S&D becoming more oriented toward an anti-austerity platform, and Eurosceptic forces more likely to consolidate around the ENF group led by Marine Le Pen. Continue reading

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Jun 27 2016

No respite: Greece’s relationship with Europe after Brexit

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AngelosChryssogelosCropBy Angelos Chryssogelos

The vote for Brexit in the referendum of 23 June has obvious immediate effects for Greece. Increased uncertainty will hamper Greece’s economic recovery. When the UK formally exits the EU, the consequences for Greek workers and students there as well as for Greek tourism will be negative. But it is important to also assess the place of Greece in a recalibrated EU in the long term, as well as the strategic repercussions of Brexit for Greek foreign policy. Continue reading

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Jun 14 2016

The ECB grants debt relief to all Eurozone nations except Greece

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De_GrauweBy Paul De Grauwe
Greece may be about to get some debt relief, although there is still resistance to the idea. This column argues that the ECB has been providing other Eurozone countries with debt relief since early 2015 through its programme of quantitative easing. The reason given for excluding Greece from the QE programme – the ‘quality’ of its government bonds – can easily be overcome if the political will exists to do so. It is time to start treating a country struggling under the burden of immense debt in the same way as the other Eurozone countries are treated. Continue reading

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Jun 13 2016

What those calling for Brexit could learn from the Greek bailout referendum

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Kevin Oct 2013 croppedBy Kevin Featherstone

In the summer of 2015, Greece held a referendum on a proposed bailout deal, with the electorate decisively rejecting the proposal. Kevin Featherstone writes that much like the upcoming referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU, the referendum in Greece was accompanied by the rise of populist campaigning in which emotional appeals had greater resonance than economic evidence. Following the result, however, the romanticism of the campaign quickly gave way to political and economic realities. Continue reading

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Apr 11 2016

The Hellenic Observatory at LSE celebrates its 20th anniversary

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Kevin Oct 2013 croppedBy Kevin Featherstone

The Hellenic Observatory, located in LSE’s European Institute, celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2016. Kevin Featherstone looks back at its story so far.

In the mid-1990s, a campaign was launched to establish a Chair on Contemporary Greece that was neither concerned with the ancient or classical past, nor the arts and humanities. LSE would champion the study of contemporary Greek society, politics and economics and it established the ‘Eleftherios Venizelos Chair in Contemporary Greek Studies’. This was endowed by philanthropic donations from some thirteen donors in Greece, at the time one of the largest donations made to the School. The Chair was to be a fully tenured, academic post in LSE, established in perpetuity. Continue reading

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