Symβiosis aims to provide resources, commentaries and analysis, on political, social and cultural ideas and developments affecting change and policy, original and creative, based on arguments, able to propose and debate solutions to critical issues, maintaining a broad intellectual scope and global reach that readers need to understand the choices shaping lives, and reflecting on Greece, the Balkans, Europe and the world.

 

Blame the banks and the Irish Government, not the Euro, for Ireland's woes

Many commentators in the UK are pointing to Ireland's presence in the Euro for its current economic woes. This is somewhat misplaced. The 'Celtic Tiger' was founded on solid economic grounds. Ireland is an attractive location within the Eurozone for overseas firms due to its English speaking, well-educated, and relatively young workforce and low corporate tax rate. Without the Euro, it is arguable that the boom years may never have happened.

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Manual of European Environmental Policy (online)

IEEP and Earthscan have now published a renewed Manual of European Environmental Policy. The new and comprehensive source on EU environmental policy is published online by Earthscan and written by our interdisciplinary team of experts. It will also be available later in print form.

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Special Report: After euro zone crisis, what next?

Noah Barkin, Paul Taylor, Tim Heritage, Emmanuel Jarry, Andreas Rinke and James Mackenzie

BERLIN/BRUSSELS/PARIS (Reuters) - It was after 1 a.m. on Monday May 10 when a little-known Dutch civil servant made the suggestion that may have saved the euro. European finance ministers had come together in Brussels late on the Sunday afternoon to thrash out a rescue package to stabilize the common currency. Unconvinced by a 110 billion euro deal for debt-laden Greece eight days earlier, the markets had knocked the euro 4 percent lower against the dollar in the intervening week and pushed bond spreads to new highs.

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More Europe is the solution to the crisis

Forside-Poul-NyrupPoul Nyrup Rasmussen, president of the Party of European Socialists (PES), talks about the lack of effectiveness of the European Union in tackling the public debt crisis and urges for the establishment of a European-wide Financial Transaction Tax, while he opens up the discussion for setting up a Euro-bond system that would potentially allow for greatly reducing the risk in the financial sector within the European Union.

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Turkey’s ‘Yes’ Vote in the Referendum on Constitutional Reform: One More Step Towards Joining the EU

ARI 136/2010 - 15/9/2010

Theme: The ‘yes’ vote by a significant margin in Turkey’s constitutional referendum on 12 September should revive the flagging negotiations for Turkey’s full entry into the EU, launched in October 2005, which have virtually ground to a halt.

Summary: The result was a resounding victory for the conservative Islamist-based Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Recep Tayyip Erdogan and boosts his chances of winning a third term as head of a single-party government in 2011 and running for the presidency in 2012. Erdogan’s opponents in the secular establishment (the military, judiciary and state bureaucracy) contend, however, that the outcome will make the government more authoritarian.

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Not a very Greek tragedy

toporowskiThe financial crisis that now threatens to engulf the Eurozone, and for which present and past Greek Governments are now being blamed, is in fact mostly due to policy errors by the leaders of the European Union and the faulty institutional design of the Eurozone. In both of these Greek Governments have played only a minor part. Indeed, if Greece were not part of the European Union, then the faults would simply emerge elsewhere.

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Europe in crisis

josephhaleviJoseph Halevi argues that there is no problem of an excessive Greek deficit, as such. It can easily be handled at the European level by devising common policies to revamp European and specifically Greece’s growth, as it is the only cure that does not kill the patient. Drastic cuts in public expenditure, while disarticulating the whole system of services and infrastructure on which a modern society rests, reduce the debt ratio only marginally, if at all.

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