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Author: Social Europe Journal

“A Greek Morality Tale” by Joseph Stiglitz

Joseph Stiglitz When the euro crisis began a half-decade ago, Keynesian economists predicted that the austerity that was being imposed on Greece and the other crisis countries would fail. It would stifle growth and increase unemployment – and even fail to decrease the debt-to-GDP ratio. Others – in the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and a few universities – talked of expansionary contractions. But even the International Monetary Fund argued that contractions, such as cutbacks in government spending, were just that – contractionary. We hardly needed another test. Austerity had failed repeatedly, from its early use under US...

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“Why European Social Democracy Is In Danger Of Terminal Decline” by Tom Angier

Tom Angier With the rise of parties on the far-right and radical left of European party systems, social democratic parties now face a challenge to retain their support base in several European countries. Tom Angier writes that the primary problem facing social democrats is that they have shifted their appeal away from their core constituencies and the social organisations that previously entrenched their place in communities, such as unions and cooperatives. He argues that only be reengaging with their traditional priorities can social democrats hope to arrest this decline. Europe is in trouble. This is evident at the purely political level,...

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“We Need An Industrial And Innovation Policy For Europe” by Paolo Pini and Davide Antonioli

Paolo Pini The prolonged economic crisis since 2008 has drastically reduced incomes and employment levels and the promised recovery will not reabsorb unemployment, particularly in Europe. Nevertheless, economic policy in Europe is sticking to past recipes based on two mainstays: fiscal austerity and labour flexibility. This strategy does increase the short-run cost competitiveness of European firms overseas but this comes at the cost of decreasing the size of European internal markets reliant on domestic demand. Europe needs clearly structural reforms, but of a kind very different from those asked by the European Commission during this crisis. Davide Antonioli We...

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“Why Juncker’s Investment Plan Is A Good Try But Not Enough” by Martin Myant

Martin Myant Jean-Claude Juncker received approval for his long-awaited investment plan at the European Council meeting on 18 December 2014, giving more details and clarifying some of the open questions on 13 January 2015. Forecasting at least €315bn additional investment over the three years 2015-2017, it was billed as the central plank in his determined effort to spend five years saving Europe, alongside member states’ ‘commitment to intensifying structural reforms and to pursuing growth-friendly fiscal consolidation’. The commitment to investment represents a noble effort to start reviving the European economy with the very limited resources allowed by current political constraints....

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