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.

 

Will Greece be able to link its past and present into a coherent vision of the country’s path towards modernity?

Since 1974 and the fall of the junta and particularly since the 1989 landslide changes that altered Europe, Greek governments have been attempting to undertake reforms considered necessary for the country to ‘catch up,’ actively participate in the ‘modern West,’ and respond to the competitive pressures of globalization. This has led to increasingly fiery protests and wide public contestation to a neoliberal model of modernization based on market-oriented values as this appears to be ‘imposed’ by the EU.

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Greece: Recovery, austerity and international imbalance

Matthieu-MaulleGlobal austerity leads to global crisis. Therefore, the European Union austerity policy will deepen the European crisis. On the contrary, in particular given the rating of some European member states on their ability to reimburse their sovereign debt, a global expansionary policy could weaken the Euro in international markets and endanger the European cohesion, at least on the productive aspect and at worst on the political side.

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Comparing Greece and California: Toward a United States of Europe

gary-dymskiGreece and California are hugely different. California has more than three times as many people, and a GDP more than five times larger. These two places are far apart on the globe, and have very different linkages with the world economy. Nonetheless, both places’ circumstances have strikingly similar features. Both are in profound fiscal crises that threaten to destroy their social safety-nets and cohesion; and both are located in larger political entities whose circumstances are far more tranquil (if far from healthy). Further, both find themselves in a dilemma that was very well captured in a lyric from “Welcome to the Hotel California,” the 1976 hit of the California-based group The Eagles: “You can check-out any time you like, but you can never leave.”

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Who can save Greece?

After two months of heated debate among policy-makers and intense speculation in the markets, the basic conditions for the joint International Monetary Fund/European Union rescue operation for Greece have now been decided. But will this package be sufficient? A closer look shows that it can at best tide the country through a rough patch; the underlying problem will remain.

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