Greek Banks: A Serial Financial Crime

The bank recapitalization demanded by the end of 2015 as a condition of Greece’s third bailout agreement, despite the assurances of both the Greek government and its creditors that the main concern was the banks’ protection, achieved the absolute worst: for the country to lose the control of its systemic banks at a huge cost to the Greek public sector.

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The weakness of the German trade unions and the weakness of the euro zone

Gustav Horn recently defended the unions against my accusation that they hold back too much in tariff policies. Horn argues that if the unions could do as they wish, everything would be fine. In such a situation, they would indeed fight for higher wages, deflation in Europe would disappear and the German competitiveness would be significantly reduced. But, says Horn, the balance of power in the labour market prevents such actions. And for this, the unions cannot be blamed.

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Democratizing the energy sector in Spain

An urgent process in Spain, one recently assumed by the new municipal governments of the left, is guaranteeing universal access to energy at reasonable conditions. This service is essential to enforce basic rights, and it is necessary to democratize it and turn it back into a common good. Recent technological advances in the field of renewable and local generation allow us to think of a model of energy as a public service in a different way to those known in the twentieth century, producing energy in a clean and at reasonable costs. Moreover, thanks to information technology and to new organizational culture management of generation and demand can be carried out through more flexible and distributed networks, which will allow municipal councils to undertake comprehensive and active energy policies, thus democratizing the sector.

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Eurozone’s so-called recovery masks a dark secret: mercantilism.

Broad opposition in Europe to the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership has prompted its supporters to summon the “protectionist” spectre. In response to the criticism of TTIP by US presidential candidates and progressive politicians in Europe they, according to media reports, are talking up the end of “free trade” that has allegedly brought so many benefits (to so few).

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Some pieces of information and legal considerations on the privatization of regional airports in Greece

The process of the regional airports’ privatization has begun in 2011 and is at the moment in its most critical phase. The contract/agreement between TAIPED (the public company, authorized by law for the privatizations in Greece) the Greek state and the FRAPORT AG-SLENTEL Ltd holding, which will undertake the exploitation and the management of the airport for forty (40) years, has already been signed-during the last summer. But this process will not be completed before the final validation of the legal transfer to the holding by the Greek Parliament before the end of 2016.

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El pluralismo en la enseñanza de economía, una cuestión de democracia

Muy recientemente la Association Française de Économie Politique-AFEP ha publicado el ’Manifiesto por una economía pluralista’. Es un grito de alarma sobre los peligros que supone dejar que una única corriente de pensamiento económico monopolice todo el debate. Pero esta es la situación hoy, en gran parte, en el mundo universitario y de la investigación donde una determinada concepción de la economía, la aproximación neoclásica, se ha convertido en dominante (’mainstream’) y se ha transformado en la ’ortodoxia’. Por ello, el manifiesto pide defender y garantizar el pluralismo en economía, porque si no lo hay no podrá haber avances en la economía como ciencia social, ni tampoco un debate democrático informado y riguroso.

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The never-ending Greek disaster

It is now eight years since Greece went into recession and six since it adopted a bailout strategy engineered by the IMF, the EU and the ECB. The SYRIZA government, elected in January 2015 with great hopes of rejecting austerity, has capitulated and is now applying the bailout policies. The economy is showing no signs of sustained recovery and has indeed returned to recession in 2015.

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Why can’t Greece get out of debt?

Between 2007 and 2015, Greece’s public debt rose from 103% to 179% of its GDP. The debt-to-GDP ratio rose at an uninterrupted pace, except for a 12-point fall in 2012 following the restructuring imposed on private creditors, and despite the implementation of two macroeconomic adjustment programs (and the beginning of a third) that were aimed precisely at redressing the Greek government’s accounts. Austerity has plunged the country into a recessionary and deflationary spiral, making it difficult if not impossible to reduce the debt. The question of a further restructuring is now sharply posed.

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