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24 CES Open Forum Series

An Ever More Polarized Union: The Greek Problem and the Failure of EU Economic Governance

Dec 23, 2015 Ton Notermans


As the Greek economy continues on its downward trajectory, the policy debate has degenerated into a re-enactment of the neoclassics versus Keynesians controversy. Yet, the Greek crisis can be solved neither by more austerity and structural reforms nor by Keynesian reflation. The core problem lies in a form of integration that has systematically weakened the Greek economy while stabilizing a clientelistic mode of interest intermediation. In order to recover, Greece needs a substantial devaluation plus an interventionist industrial policy. Yet, such a form of integration is not palatable to the North West European creditor countries, nor is it attractive to the Greek government as it would require a break with the clientelistic organization of political power while removing the scapegoat of the EU.