Shane Fitzgerald

A portfolio of writing on politics and policy in Europe and Asia

Tag: Euro Crisis

Europe’s New Sovereign Default Regime

Trinity College Dublin’s Institute for International Integration Studies and its Policy Institute jointly hosted a seminar yesterday on the European sovereign debt crisis. Chaired by Prof. Philip R. Lane, the seminar heard from a host of leading international experts.

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Euro Crisis Comment Roundup II

The euro crisis rumbled on ominously through the week though there was a diversion for EU nerds in the form of the annual State of the Union address, delivered by Commission President Barroso to the European Parliament on Wednesday. As well as reiterating the EU’s support for Greece and defending the role of the Commission and the EU’s ‘community method’, Barroso reaffirmed his organisation’s support for a financial transaction tax (FTT) as a way of clawing back some money from the wayward banking sector. He expanded on his remarks during an interview with the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung on Friday, covered here by Spiegel online.

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Euro Crisis Comment Roundup

It has been another hairy week in European markets as shares in French banks have swung wildly, the Swiss banking giant UBS was shaken by a ‘rogue trading’ loss of $2bn, and European finance ministers held yet another crisis meeting, this time with US Treasury Secretary Timothy Giethner making a guest appearance.

It can be hard to keep up with the pace of events in this escalating crisis, never mind with the relentless stream of commentary, criticism and policy prescriptions from economists, politicians and journalists.

There have however been some worthwhile contributions to the debate in the last few days. This post is an attempt to round some of them up. Please feel free to add your own links in the comment section.

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Eurobonds a Non-Starter for Now

The establishment of a system of Eurobonds, whereby bonds are issued on behalf of the Eurozone as a whole, has been proposed by many commentators as a way of ending the European sovereign debt crisis. Political proponents include Jean Claude Juncker, Giulio Tremonti, Guy Verhofstadt and even George Osborne. Opponents include Otmar IssingJan Kees De Jager and, crucially, Angela Merkel.

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Euro Crisis will Sideline UK in Europe

Europe’s financial, sovereign debt and political crisis shows no sign of abating and could yet trigger a fresh global catastrophe. The range of endgame options runs from a costly and contentious closer union among members of the Eurozone to its chaotic fragmentation. There are no good solutions, and no agreement on what might be the least-worst one.

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Combating the Crisis – The Role of the ECB

The European Central Bank has had a difficult time since the onset of the European sovereign debt crisis. Forced to step into a political vacuum caused by the failure of the European Union’s traditional policymaking process to get to grips with extraordinary events, it has tried to balance the sometimes competing demands of safeguarding the Euro, supporting the financial system, nurturing economic fundamentals and protecting its own integrity.

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A New Deal for Europe?

We’ve previously covered the work of the European Parliament’s Special Committee on the Financial, Economic and Social Crisis (CRIS Committee) on this blog and indeed the Chairman of the Committee, Dr Wolf Klinzvisited the IIEA in October to discuss its work.

Yesterday its Rapporteur, Pervenche Beres, presented her final report to the Parliament. A resolution backing the report was adopted with 434 votes in favour, 128 against and 33 abstentions.

The resolution is non-legislative but nonetheless is a strong demonstration of the European Parliament’s hopes for radical action to boost European competitiveness, employment, innovation and growth in the years ahead.

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Policymaking in Medias Res

We have had the hamartia – the tragic flaw in the system that allowed high-spending countries to free ride on low interest rates. We have had the hubris – the belief the good times would never end. We have had nemesis – disaster. We now need the anagnorisis …

So says the proud Eurosceptic, classical scholar and Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. But the epiphany for which he yearns is “the moment of recognition that Greece would be better off in a state of Byronic liberation, forging a new economic identity with a New Drachma. Then there will be catharsis, the experience of purgation and relief.”

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Stability for Ireland and the Eurozone

A trio of leading economic experts have addressed the IIEA in recent weeks on the topic of Ireland’s sovereign debt crisis. Tellingly, each of them spent as much time speaking about the European dimensions of Ireland’s problems and their solutions as they did talking about domestic factors.

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Towards a Grand Bargain? An IIEA Briefing on European Policy Responses to the Eurozone Debt Crisis

A comprehensive response to the European sovereign debt crisis must address the following tasks: crisis management, fiscal consolidation, financial stability, structural reform and strengthening the single market.

The last year has seen a wide array of proposals in these areas tabled by European institutions, politicians and think tanks. Many of the proposals overlap or represent variations on similar core ideas. This briefing outlines the nature, rationale and prospects of some of the most prominent of those ideas.

The proposals are diverse yet interconnected. For the purpose of this brief they have been divided into four main policy areas, subdivided into twenty actions. Particularly sensitive issues, such as treaty change, are addressed individually.

This briefing is not exhaustive and will be updated on a regular basis so as to provide a monitoring resource for interested parties.

Download this briefing paper here.