Greek government puts EU final offer to referendum test: Unclear if it will pass but democratic option commendable

The Greek government led by Alexis Tsipras and the Syriza party has turned the tables on the austerity obsessed European union. I t has announced a referendum on the final offer presented to it by the EU, the ECB and the IMF. This offer to extend the bailout by five months but on terms that require more austerity, further cuts to pensioners and the poor and middle classes and more belt tightening overall with no parallel debt relief  would allow Greece to keep the euro but further destroy its already shattered economy that previous EU and IMF conditionality had destructively wrought in Greece. It may well be that a majority of Greeks will be willing to accept this sado -masochistic policy as a price worth paying to stay but many Greeks may well reject it on the perfectly sensible calculation that over the long haul they will be better off outside the eurozone and with their own currency and central banking system capable of financing a substantial domestic stimulus program. Freed of the onerous burden of excessive and foolishly imposed IMF conditionality with a chance to lengthen debt repayment terms and write off a substantial portion of the debt Greece could very well do much better than the high priests of fiscal orthodoxy claim. In any case whatever the outcome it will be a democratic one which considering the size of the democratic deficit in Europe is a major positive accomplishment.

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About haroldchorneyeconomist

I am Professor of political economy at Concordia university in Montréal, Québec, Canada. I received my B.A.Hons (econ.&poli sci) from the University of Manitoba. I also completed my M.A. degree in economics there. Went on to spend two years at the London School of Economics as a Ph.D. student in economics and then completed my Ph.D. in political economy at the University of Toronto. Was named a John W.Dafoe fellow, a CMHC fellow and a Canada Council fellow. I also was named a Woodrow Wilson fellow in 1968 after completing my first class honours undergraduate degree. Worked as an economist in the area of education, labour economics and as the senior economist with the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation for the Government of Manitoba from 1972 to 1978. I also have worked as an economic consultant for MDT socio-economic consultants and have been consulted on urban planning, health policy, linguistic duality and public sector finance questions by the governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan,the cities of Regina and Saskatoon, Ontario and the Federal government of Canada. I have also been consulted by senior leaders of the British Labour party, MPs from the Progressive Conservative party, the Liberal party and the New Democrats on economic policy questions. Members of the Government of France under the Presidency of Francois Mitterand discussed my work on public sector deficits. I have also run for elected office at the municipal level. I first began to write about quantitative easing as a useful policy option during the early 1980s.
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