Sunday, June 9, 2013
Saturday, June 8, 2013
by Protesilaos Stavrou on Saturday, June 8, 2013 at 10:30 CET
On June 5, 2013, the IMF published an ex post evaluation of the macroeconomic adjustment programme for Greece. Not few were those who ventured to interpret parts of the content of this report as yet another mea culpa from the side of the international organization and from there proceed to criticize the other two EU institutions participating in the "troika" mechanism, the European Commission and the European Central Bank, for their unwillingness to publish anything that could qualify as genuinely self-critical. On the face of it, the argument seems plausible enough, given that the IMF does indeed enumerate certain issues it failed to accurately account for. In macroeconomic terms and with the privilege of hindsight, the IMF recognizes that it misjudged the extent of the contraction that resulted from the fiscal shock, in that it was assuming private sector activity to offset public spending cuts. Similar story for the level of the fiscal multipliers and for the presumption of the health of the domestic banking system. Yet as critical as such misrecognitions may have been, the exercise of evaluating a broader economic context of the past with new data can fall into the trap of becoming an error of historical projection and while this may have benign effects in changing methodologies and mentalities, it might as well provide just another basis for epistemologically questionable approaches to new phenomena, in the use of context-specific data to elucidate chimerical exact rules.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
by Protesilaos Stavrou on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 at 06:55 CET
On June 11 and 12, 2013 the German Constitutional Court will be considering the legal foundations of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) of the European Central Bank (the Bruegel blog has an informative press review on the subject). This case is of great interest for a number of reasons which stretch beyond the confines of the realm of European political economy, into areas of constitutional law and institutional order or, more bluntly, to what effectively amounts to an incessant power struggle between the various strata of authority within the EU architecture, mainly manifested in the usually self-defeating tension between the supranational and the national levels. The decision of the German Constitutional Court on this very issue might well be of historical importance in setting a clear precedent on the delineation of competences between the Court of Justice of the EU and the national constitutional courts, tacitly though clearly removing some of the competence uncertainty that prevails over certain legal-political aspects of the present state of affairs and reducing the speculative scope of reactionary politics or, conversely, of reinforcing the skepticism over the supremacy of European law in those cases where conceptual lacunae may exist or made to exist.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
by Protesilaos Stavrou on Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 10:55 CET
Friday, May 17, 2013
by Protesilaos Stavrou on Friday, May 17, 2013 at 21:39 CET
While having already addressed the argument which asserts a mechanical alleviation of the economic duress in the eurozone's periphery by virtue of spontaneous or instigated rising inflation in the core, Germany in particular, I continue to feel an inclination to restate my position on the matter, after having been stimulated or inspired to proceed thus by a discussion I held with a friend earlier this day, which reminded me of the assemblage of questionable assumptions still prevalent in certain political or intellectual circles, concerning ideas on the most optimal response to the eurocrisis.
Saturday, May 11, 2013
by Protesilaos Stavrou on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 12:57 CET
Mr. Barroso's speech at the State of the Union conference in Florence on May 9, 2013. On the issue of the eurocrisis qua trapping of some leftist's or "populist's" imaginary, Mr. Barroso spoke thus:
Thursday, May 9, 2013
by Protesilaos Stavrou on Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 13:35 CET
Fellow citizen Ralf Grahn (@RalfGrahn) recently suggested that European bloggers should consider producing an article under the twitter hashtag #MyEurope, in light of the commemoration of Europe Day, on the 9th of May. The idea is to invite the authors to publicize their perhaps idealized conception of Europe, of its politics in their broader sense, so as to participate in—and enrich the—public debate on the present and the future of the European Union (or of the Euro Area) and, most importantly, to provide a renewed impetus to the eurologosphere, the aggregation of all European blogs or "eurologs", to the (re-)consideration and (re-)examination of the immediate issues at hand as well as the prospects for Europe in the years ahead.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
by Protesilaos Stavrou on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:38 CET
On April 26 2013, I had the great honor to attend a lecture on Democracy, Solidarity, and the European Crisis by one of the foremost thinkers of our age, Professor Jürgen Habermas. The event, which can now be watched online, took place at the premises of a very important center of knowledge in Belgium, if not worldwide, the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and was introduced by the President of the European Council, Mr. Herman Van Rompuy.