A young European voice on Grexit: too high a bill and too big a deal!

Written by Camilla Crovella, member of the Eustory Alumni Network and Spotlight Europe

Camilla Crovella is a member of the Eustory Alumni Network and member of Spotlight Europe

Camilla Crovella is a member of the Eustory Alumni Network and member of Spotlight Europe

The European reality has always been crossed by threats of division and secessionisms due to its cultural and political diversity which constitutes both its weak point but also the basis for building its strength.

One of these aspects, which has remained a latent possibility in the last years, is now becoming more concrete; it has been nicknamed as Grexit, the hypothetical Greek withdrawal from the Eurozone.

In February, the new Tsipras government reached an agreement with the Eurozone creditor countries, including a package of immediate reforms and an extension of four months of the financial assistance program. Even though Europe could feel relieved at that moment, the compromise calls for tough negotiations on a new financial assistance program to be introduced by the end of June.

In any negotiation the fundamental element that influences the behavior of the players and then the final result, as Jean Pisani-Ferri, French economist, public policy expert and French government Commissioner General for Policy Planning recently observed, is the cost that the impossibility to find a further agreement would bring to the protagonists themselves.

To understand more deeply the phenomenon, it is important to focus on two key points: The actual legal provisions it could base its ruts on and the economic consequences of its realization.

Concerning the first aspect, under the Treaty on European Union, the fundamental document of institutional regulation of the EU, it is written that ”Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements” (Art. 50), but no provision appears to establish either the opposite process, an exclusion carried out by all the components against one Member State, or the revocability of the Euro – membership.

André Sapir, think tank Bruegel’s Senior Fellow, Professor of Economics at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and former economic adviser to the president of the European Commission, confirmed this. In an interview that recently appeared in several European daily newspapers, such as the Italian Il Sole 24 Ore, he affirmed that Grexit is just an exercise of «Phanta-politics». He also underlined that the other Member States would not accept to lose a Mediterranean politically and economically strategic point, such as Greece.

But what would be the bill generated by a possible Greek withdrawal from the Eurozone, in economic terms?

Since the question started to become more serious (2012), two different theories have been developed on the topic. The first one, known as the domino theory, states that a possible Greek withdrawal would lead markets to wonder which country could leave the Eurozone next. The fate of the other countries would then be questioned, similarly to what happened during the sovereign debt crisis in Europe in 2010-2012. The consequence could be an implosion of the Eurozone.

Instead, according to the other vision, the theory of ballast, the Eurozone would actually be strengthened by Grexit. The monetary union would finally manage to erase a constant problem. Additionally, a decision to let Greece leave the Eurozone, or push it to do so, would increase the credibility of its rules.

In 2012, the former one seemed sufficiently realistic to push the creditor countries to put the option of a Greek exclusion aside. The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, decided to officially visit Athens where she expressed her “hope and desire” that Greece would keep up being a Member.

Nowadays though, the situation is quite different. The rating agency Fitch has recently declared (6th March) that, although Grexit is still a concrete risk, Eurozone is now immune to risks contagion.

”The Eurozone has developed mechanisms to alleviate the risk of contagion and concerns about the solvency of other Member States are less evident than what they were like in 2012. A domino effect from Grexit is therefore unlikely to happen”, remarked Fitch.

Indeed, adds the agency, the market stress has considerably decreased. The financial support programs no longer support Ireland and Portugal; the Eurozone financial system has been strengthened by the decision to move towards a banking union.

Despite these reassurances, as Jean Pisani-Ferri wrote, it cannot be stated yet that a Greek withdrawal would not bring any damage and this is mainly due to two reasons.

First of all, it would contradict the tacit assumption that participation in the Eurozone is irrevocable. This would create a precedent in European history and, if the climate began to be a bit tense again, there would be no certainty that another Member State would not follow this path.

Secondly, a possible withdrawal of Athens would force the European policymakers to formalize the rules of quitting, so far unwritten and undefined. This would naturally turn the risk of breach not only more acceptable, but also more concrete.

This does not mean, Pisani-Ferri added, that the other Member States should play any possible card or pay any possible price to keep Greece as a Member of the Union. But, on the other hand, the idea of a peaceful and effectless withdrawal of the country from the Eurozone is an illusion.

From the perspective of young generations it does not appear as hopeful future scenery, to know that the Greek tool would in any case pass on our shoulders too, once stepped in and established as agents in the labor markets. Despite this, it is crucial for a young European to learn how to think in a wider perspective; the European project is not a cup of tea to be set into reality, but in its complexity resides its strength too. Losing any part of this project would mean to damage it somehow. A human body still works without a hand but less effectively.

It is important that each young EU citizen understands this key aspect and accepts some small personal sacrifices in order for the whole machine to work better. There is a negative effectless way neither in losing a hand nor in losing the component of a Union.

About the author

Camilla (21) is a member of the Eustory Alumni Network and writes articles for online magazines. She studies Law at the University of Turin.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Join the Hive!

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The online junk information grows, but so we shall

David Attenborough: The planet can’t cope with overpopulation

Changing for the change: Medicine in Industry 4.0

A Sting Exclusive: “Cybersecurity Act for safer European Industries and Consumers against cyberthreats”, by MEP Niebler

Tax revenues continue increasing as the tax mix shifts further towards corporate and consumption taxes

Brussels to tear down the trade wall with Mexico as opposed to Trump’s “walls”

An introduction to ‘Eco-Medical Literacy’ and its importance in shaping expert medical professionals

Thursday’s Daily Brief: Poverty report reveals ‘vast inequalities’, measles compounds DRC Ebola woes, Guterres visits Mozambique, Bangladesh update, freedom of expression online

Venezuelan exodus to Ecuador reaches record levels: UN refugee agency steps up aid

European Commission Joint Research Centre opens world-class laboratories to researchers

Nearly two-thirds of children lack access to welfare safety net, risking ‘vicious cycle of poverty’

Milk, fruits and vegetables distributed to schoolchildren thanks to EU programme

On Kristallnacht anniversary, UN chief urges renewed fight against ‘crime’ of anti-Semitism

Algorithmic warfare is coming. Humans must retain control

The green hydrogen revolution has started, and it won’t be stopped

Libyan national conference postponed, nearly 500,000 children at ‘direct risk’ from fighting around Tripoli

Prosecution of Paraguay judges over peasant ‘massacre’ ruling could undermine rule of law: UN expert

What the world will look like after the Iran and 5+1 deal; the US emerges as major power broker in Middle East

IMF: European banks do not perform their duty to real economy

Here are 3 alternative visions for the future of work

Western Balkans: MEPs take stock of 2018 progress

One migrant child reported dead or missing every day, UN calls for more protection

The impossible end of the war in Syria

Groundbreaking cancer-fighting drugs now included in updated UN list of essential medicines

5 things to know about the Western Balkans

In polarized America, a new divide looms

Consumers suffer three defeats

Climate change and its adverse impacts on health

‘Alarming levels’ of methamphetamine trafficking in Asia’s Mekong, UN warns

Commission goes less than mid-way on expensive euro

Youth unemployment: think out of the box

Eurozone business activity again on upwards path

Civil protection: Parliament strengthens EU disaster response capability

Draghi to hold on zero interest rates until he leaves ECB

Galileo and EGNOS programmes back in orbit powered with €70 billion

Apple’s tax avoidance scheme remains as creative as their new iPhone

Can We(esterners) ever understand (the) Chinese

Recognizing, protecting and empowering youth rights in Europe and the world

World’s Press Calls on the United Kingdom to Address Press Freedom Concerns

This plastic-free bag dissolves in water

Actions not words: what was promised at the UN’s landmark climate summit?

Violence on the rise in Darfur following Sudan military takeover, but UN-AU peacekeeping mission maintains ‘robust posture’

These refugee children have danced in the snow for the first time

The EU Parliament slams Commission on economic governance

2019 Innovation Scoreboards: The innovation performance of the EU and its regions is increasing

When nations work together, hope prevails and collective solutions can be found – UN chief tells Peace Forum, marking World War centenary in Paris

Violent disorder is on the rise. Is inequality to blame?

EU: Tax evasion and fraud flourish under political protection

How did Facebook fool the Commission that easily during the WhatsApp acquisition?

Parliament’s interparliamentary delegations established

‘Being open about my mental health created a better work culture’

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “Employment contracts today are a reducing share of the workforce”, scientists worry in Davos that the 4th industrial revolution threatens employment globally

Ahead of key UN-backed Marrakech migration conference, youth recount harrowing journeys

International tourism arrivals hit record high in 2017, UN agency reports

These are the world’s best universities by subject

Brexit and migration dominates the debate on October’s EU summit

Tusk fights back while charismatic Boris goes against everybody in Brussels pushing the UK to leave the EU now or never

7 surprising and outrageous stats about gender inequality

UN global education envoy urges new funding for ‘lost generation’ of children forced out of classrooms by conflict

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s