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Saturday, September 10, 2011

On the Perils of E.U. States Being In Charge

Wolfgang Schäuble, the finance minister of the state of Germany, does not mince words when it comes to the state of Greece sticking to its promise to reduce its deficit in order to receive aid from the E.U. through its Financial Stability Facility. Aid will be paid, he said on September 8, 2011 in a radio interview, “if Greece actually does what it agreed to do.” If monitors do not sign off on Greece having fulfilled its promises, then “Greece has to see how it gets access to financial markets without help from [the E.U. facility].” Ouch! Meanwhile, the state government of Finland was still insisting on collateral from Greece as a condition for contributing to the aid. Adding still additional pressure on the Greek government, Mark Rutte, prime minister of the Netherlands, had said on the previous day that states receiving aid should either cede control over their budgets or drop the euro. According to the New York Times, many economists believe that the ripple effects from Greece’s departure from the euro “could be catastrophic for the world economy.”

The full essay is at "Essays on the E.U. Political Economy," available at Amazon.