Friday 4 November 2011

Eurozone: Athens, Byzantium and Rome

We continue our exploration of euroblogs through the multilingual aggregator in our quest for views on the crisis in the eurozone. We visit the capitals - Athens, Byzantium and Rome – cradles of European civilisation.


Gulf Stream Blues asked: Was it all for nought? Maybe Papandreou hoped that if the Greek people themselves are forced to make the same choice he is now faced with, they too will conclude there is really no other option for the country. noted that the Greek referendum is off the table, but Papandreou has not resigned. There are signs of some sort of cross-party solutions taking shape (in Swedish).

Byzantine politics?

According to the bilingual EUropeanista blog a referendum in Greece, at first sight a perfectly and healthy democratic act, hides treason. Greece is being betrayed, one more time, by a corrupted and incompetent political class.

Since prime minister George Papandreou has lost the confidence of his party and parts of his government, Vassilis Monastiriotis sees basically two options. One is a new party leader, Evangelos Venizelos being the only serious candidate. More probable solution is cross-party agreement on a transitory unity government to ratify the 26-27 October 2011 euro(zone) summit agreement ahead of an early election. Papandreou and the referendum seem to be goners, but the problems of instability and lack of legitimacy set to remain for Greece.

Roma aeterna?

The Open Europe blog notes the defection of two of PM Silvio Berlusconi's MPs to the Christian Democrats. The government meeting on new emergency measures and the arguments with finance minister Giulio Tremonti further weakened Berlusconi's leadership, as did a letter by six of his MPs calling for his resignation. The speaker of the lower house, Gianfranco Fini, publicly criticised the prime minister. The interest rates on Italian state bonds are worryingly high.

Papandreou is obviously finished, writes Georgi Gotev, but a failing Italy would trigger a tsunami effect. He wants Berlusconi to quit and Mario Monti in the role of Pulcinella.

Vadum Francorum

Arthur Goldhammer noted that the European Central Bank dropped its leading rate by 0.25%. So did Patrice Cardot.

Citius, Altius, Fortius

Many leaders acts as if the world hadn't changed in twenty years, opined Gunnar Hökmark MEP (in Swedish). Papandreou has wilfully undermined the confidence in him and his government. Italy is in dire need of strucural reforms. The EU more broadly has for a long time needed competitiveness, but little has been achieved. In the United States two parties prevent needed fiscal policies.


Arnaud Leparmentier picked some interesting quotes from the G20 leaders.

Habent sua fata libelli

The viewpoints are different, but they all represent a part of the European public sphere, for the enlightenment of readers. Earlier roundups in the eurozone series concern possible exitus letalis, more Greek dra(ch)ma, vanishing marble(s), the need for democratic and robust government at European level, as well as calls to and from Athens.

Ralf Grahn

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