Tag Archives: Greek crisis

‘Competing Explanations and Strategies for the Greek Crisis and the Question of the Productive Model’, Stavros Mavroudeas

https://www.routledge.com/Greece-in-the-21st-Century-The-Politics-and-Economics-of-a-Crisis/Fouskas-Dimoulas/p/book/9781857438673#toc

I have contributed a chapter titled ‘Competing Explanations and Strategies for the Greek Crisis and the Question of the Productive Model’

The outline of my chapter is the following.

The Greek crisis that erupted in 2009 is part of the 2007-8 global capitalist crisis. The latter is the first major crisis of the 21st century and, because of its structural nature, it has long-term repercussions. Its structural nature is expressed in the feeble recovery after the crisis, the ‘double dip’ that followed and the fears for a future return of the recession. Another crucial repercussion is the eruption of several regional crises of which the crisis of the Eurozone (with Greece at its centre) is the most significant.

The Greek crisis was expressed as a debt crisis (that is a disequilibrium in the sphere of circulation) although, as this paper will argue, its causes are deeper and lay in the sphere of production. In any case, and irrespective of different explanations, it is nowadays unquestionable that this crisis goes hand in hand with destructive processes in the sphere of production. It is evident that the current Greek productive model – with the shrinkage of the primary sector, the growing deindustrialization and the bubble of services – has failed and it is not sustainable. Thus, all competing strategies for surpassing the crisis have offered proposals about restructuring the Greek production model. Notwithstanding, these proposals differ widely as they represent different understandings of the Greek crisis and they reflect different socio-economic interests. In each of these strategies productive restructuring holds a different role. For example, those explanations that consider the Greek case simply as a debt crisis, that is a crisis in the sphere of circulation alone that only subsequently affected the sphere of production, attribute to productive restructuring a secondary role behind the primary role of securing debt viability. They, more or less, purport that if the latter is solved then productive restructuring would follow suit. On the contrary, if the causes of the crisis are posited in the sphere of production, as Marxist approaches that focus on the tendency of the rate of profit to fall maintain, then productive restructuring assumes the primary role.

The next section presents the main competing explanations of the Greek crisis and how they confront the problem of the productive model. The third section analyses the strategies that emanate from them the strategies and what role has productive restructuring within them. Its last sub-section acts as conclusions by proposing a strategy of disengagement from the EU.

 

The table of contents of the volume is the following:

Table of Contents

Introduction and Acknowledgments – What’s in the Greek Cauldron?

Vassilis K. Fouskas and Constantine Dimoulas

1 Eurozone Authoritarianism and the Neoliberal Project in Greece and Southern Europe

Kees van der Pijl

2 Sovereign Debt or Balance of Payments Crisis? Exploring the Structural Logic of Adjustment in the Eurozone

Matthias Kaelberer

3 Greece and the Crisis of the Eurozone: A Structural Analysis

Leila Simona Talani

4 Is There Really a Eurozone Crisis?

Turan Subasat

5 Competing Explanations and Strategies for the Greek Crisis and the Question of the Productive Model

Stavros Mavroudeas

6 Internal Devaluation and Hegemonic Crisis (2010-16)

Elias Ioakimoglou

7 The ‘Politics of Fulfilment’ as a Preliminary for the Making of a Precarious State in Greece

Maria Markantonatou

8 The Political Effects of the Greek Economic Crisis: The Collapse of the Old Two-Party System

Alexander Kazamias

9 Blaming the Other: An Inquiry into the Cultural and Political Preconditions of the Greek Crisis

Tolis Malakos

Advertisements

Comment in Press TV News in Brief program on the conclusion of the 2nd review of the Greek Adjustment Program and its inability to solve the Greek crisis

The video of my comment in Press TV’s News in Brief program on the conclusion of the 2nd review of the Greek Adjustment Program and its inability to solve the Greek crisis.

The transcript of the comment is the following:

 

Comment in Press TV News in Brief program on the conclusion of the 2nd review of the Greek Adjustment Program and its inability to solve the Greek crisis

2-5-2017

 

The technical agreement (SLA) between the troika of Greece’s lenders (IMF-EU-ECB) – because a political agreement has to follow as well – is a sham. The whole bunch of declarations by the the IMF and the EU and the SYRIZA government are pretentious and not telling the truth. The Greek economy is in shambles. It is in a terrible condition with recession reigning for the seventh consecutive year. The Adjustment Program imposed upon the country by the EU and the IMF has aggravated this situation. Each review of this program and the additional austerity measures that are being taken within this program in order to bring it back in its own tracks aggravate further the recession of the Greek economy and the poverty of the great majority of the Greek people. In these conditions a dirty game is being played between the major partners of these agreements. The EU wants to impose these agreements upon Greece but it requires the tacit agreement of the IMF (that is by the US). The US, on the other hand, fear that they throw a lot of money in the desperate Greek case and also the new Trump administration has taken a more tough line towards the EU. This was the reason for which the negotiations for this second review took too long. That is the IMF created problems. The junior partner of this deal, that is the Greek government of SYRIZA, has capitulated completely. It gives whatever the foreign lenders require so long as the new austerity measures required are not to be applied during this and the next year. But to be applied by 2019, that is after the expiration of the SYRIZA government. This means that the new government would bear the costs and the burden of the new austerity measures. In total the new agreement does not solve the Greek crisis but it aggravates it as it puts another 3.5 to 4 bn euros austerity cuts upon a very weak economy. So, the problems lay ahead.

 

SYRIZA is trying to limit popular discontent against its capitulation to EU and relaxes capital controls in banking

SYRIZA is trying to limit popular discontent against its capitulation to EU and relaxes capital controls in banking

 

Stavros Mavroudeas

 

diagram

On Sunday (19-7-2015) the SYRIZA-ANEL government announced that the ‘banking holiday’ imposed 21 days ago will be lifted and banks will re-open. Also, there will be a relaxation of the stringent capital controls imposed (see http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/07/19/420892/Greece-banks-shutdown-debt-crisis).

This is an economic and political damage limitation move.

First, capital controls were in fact imposed on Greece by the ECB as it curtailed its provision of liquidity to Greek banks. ECB did so, in close co-operation with the EU, in order to coerce SYRIZA to accept the troika (EU-ECB-IMF) austerity program and implement it unconditionally.

Second, capital controls caused serious economic and political problems. The already gravely wounded by the troika austerity program Greek economy took a severe hit because of the additional problems in financing its activities. It is estimated that ECB’s curtailing of liquidity cost more than 3bn euros. In political terms the climax from a limited liquidity to fully blown capital controls signified a blatant imperialist intervention by the EU in the affairs of Greece. The ECB, as the long arm of the troika, obliged the foolish and wavering SYRIZA government to impose the unpopular capital controls the very week before the crucial referendum of the 5th of July. With this move it tried to blackmail the Greek people and coerce them to vote for YES (that is for capitulating to the insolent demands of the EU). However, this blackmail backfired as the mass of working people and lower middle strata – that constitute the vast majority of the Greek population – voted for NO. However, the very next day of this resounding referendum result, SYRIZA betrayed it, realigned itself with the pro-EU and pro-business opposition parties and proceeded to agree to a third 3-year troika austerity program (https://stavrosmavroudeas.wordpress.com/2015/07/16/2856/). This causes a growing rift between SYRIZA (who is becoming another EU-subservient austerity government) and the vast popular majority.

Third, in order to ameliorate these problems, SYRIZA – working in tandem this time with the EU – relaxes capital controls. As it faces popular discontent it tries, first, to realign itself with the business interests hit by the restriction of finance and, second, to placate the common people whose everyday lives have been disrupted by the freezing of their mediocre deposits.

The outcome of this damage limitation move is dubious. With the 3rd austerity program the Greek economy is led into further recession and the working people and the middle strata will pay the costs. With or without capital controls popular support for SYRIZA is withering away.

 

* Stavros Mavroudeas is a Professor of Political Economy in the Economics Department of the University of Macedonia.

e-mail: smavro@uom.edu.gr

web: https://stavrosmavroudeas.wordpress.com

Published in COUNTERPUNCH

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/07/20/syriza-tries-to-limit-popular-discontent-against-its-capitulation-to-eu-and-relaxes-capital-controls-in-banking/

 

Interview in Pravda.Ru on the Greek referendum and its aftermath

 

Stavros Mavroudeas, Professor of Political Economy at the University of Macedonia speaks in Pravda.Ru and to Said Gafurov about the results of Greek Referendum, anti-crisis policy of Syrisa government, pro-cycle and counter-cycle approaches to economic policy and situation in banking, manufacturing, agricultural sectors of Greek economy as well as in tourism and trade.

He stresses the popular basis of the NO vote and the hostility of the Greek eite. He also points out that SYRIZA did not expected this landslide and immediately afterwards betrayed it by capitulating to the EU.

A debate in The Debate of Press TV on the Greek crisis, 22-6-2015

The Iranian international news service Press TV in its Debate focused again on the Greek crisis and the disastrous ongoing negotiations of the Tsipras government with the EU. I was ivited to participate in it..

This is the video of the event:

 

The latest in the Greece debt talks which was held in an emergency meeting has ended with no breakthrough. Although another round of talks is expected in coming days, chances of a breakthrough are viewed as slim. Greece’s latest proposals: VAT rates, early retirement measures and tax increases. , which aim to cover a good part of the country’s budgetary gap was rejected by its creditors. Meanwhile, the deadline of June 30 is fast approaching.

Guests:

– Stavros Mavroudeas (ATHENS), Prof. of Political Economy, Univ. of Macedonia

– Richard Ashworth (BRUSSELS), Member of European Parliament

A debate in The Debate of Press TV on the Greek crisis, 17-6-2015

The Iranian international news service Press TV in its Debate focused on the Greek crisis. I was ivited to participate in it together with L.Padolski from Washington.

This is the video of the event:

 

A small lapsus on my behalf: at some point I erroneously said that the Greek economy has already lost 46% of its GDP (instead of 26% that is the correct number). It was an unintented verbal error.

Video of the lecture for MOC, Brussels 9/6/2015

This is the recording of the second part of the lecture I gave on the 9th of June 2015 to the Brussels branch of MOC.

I have to express my gratefulness to the translator who did an excellent job.