Monday, June 29, 2015

Not interested in non-federal solutions

I don't claim any expertise in the Greek crisis. I believe there is a consensus that the euro zone is disfunctional as a monetary union, and that to survive it requires a political and fiscal union. In their absence, it would be better to abandon the project. Many of us believe that a political and fiscal union are necessary, not only to make a monetary union sustainable, but because they are ways to make possible the dream of a united Europe that leaves behind centuries of fragmentation and violence. Austerity policies have failed, and in this Paul Krugman is right. To the extent that the leaders of the Union are trying to keep pushing these policies, they are wrong. But some claim that the agreement was within reach when the Greek government suddenly called a referendum because it didn't want to face the political consequences of accepting the agreement. Those of us who live in countries dominated by nationalist controversies know about the dangers of playing with plebiscitarian democracy. Democratic radicalism is sometimes incompatible with democratic quality. I wish that some sort of agreement still takes place that allows for debt restructuring and credible reforms supported by the citizens of creditor and debtor countries. The Greek government, in the meantime, has done many things I didn't like, like for example approaching Vladimir Putin. I don't understand why Tsipras reached an agreement with the nationalist right instead of the center- left. I also know that all this happens because of the lack of credibility of precisely the center-left, but I cannot see how the situation can be improved without a role for realistic center-left policies that are truly committed with a fair, democratic and federal Europe.

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