Say ‘yes’ to Europe: A response to Joseph Stiglitz’s ‘How I would vote in the Greek referendum’

UCL Brexit Blog

Joseph Stiglitz’s influential call on the Greeks to vote ‘no’ in Sunday’s referendum has received attention from all corners of the globe. In this response, Kira Gartzou-Katsouyanni and Philip Schnattinger, critically analyse Stiglitz’s arguments and put forward an argument for a ‘yes’ vote.

Joseph Stiglitz’s call on the Greeks to vote ‘no’ in Sunday’s referendum has received broad international publicity and has given an enormous boost to the ‘no’ campaign in Greece. Yet many of his arguments about both economics and politics are at best one-sided.

Stiglitz talks a lot about the Eurozone’s democratic flaws. Indeed, many of us have participated in discussions about the European Union’s democratic deficit in the past, and there is no doubt that there are ways in which the Eurozone’s democratic credentials can be improved.

But the Eurogroup’s decision not to extend the economic adjustment programme beyond its expiry date was not an example of anti-democratic…

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One thought on “Say ‘yes’ to Europe: A response to Joseph Stiglitz’s ‘How I would vote in the Greek referendum’

  1. “The Syriza government created an atmosphere of uncertainty that caused an economy that had suffered an enormous blow in 2010, but that had become one of the fastest-growing economies of the Eurozone in the last quarter of 2014, to enter a new phase of depression. This depression will only deepen and become more painful if ‘no’ prevails on Sunday and Greece leaves the Eurozone”

    The growth is purely illusional, due to the deflationary effects and the growth actually petered out in 2014 already, and you know it.

    That a left government is not liked by the business classes is of course normal. Drop of business confidence is expected. But then the problems worsened because of the intransigence of the Troika, which did not want to talk about debt relief. And what is the IMF saying today. Greece not viable without debt relief.

    So, business confidence could easily have been resurrected by giving the Syriza government a debt relief offer, right after they had come to power. (There is no doubt, had the Eurogroup consisted of left wing socialists, all of them, that this would have been the case.) It still can and it still will.

    Clearly “no” is the right answer, as Greece has to kick the Troika out ultimately because it is only the Troika which is responsible for this disaster. Troika is more keen on regime change than on helping Greece. Unless you also want regime change in Greece, and it looks like you do, then vote “YES” of course,

    Also, do you guys think it is right that the ECB, which is part of the Troika, can decide how much liquidity support to give to the Greek banks by making up rules on a whim, even though Greek banks are solvent? If you think that does not happen, you are completely unaware of how this game of politics is being played. The ECB is being used as a tool of power to undermine an elected government – even if you do not like the government, surely you must see that is wrong!

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