The European debt crisis

The Greek case

By Costas Simitis

The European debt crisis


  • Hardcover
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9578-8
  • Pages: 368
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £17.99
  • Published Date: April 2014
  • BIC Category: Political economy, Economic & financial crises & disasters, POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / European, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Economy, EU (European Union), Economics, finance, business & management / Economic & financial crises & disasters, Economics
  • Series: European Politics


In this book, former Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis examines the European debt crisis with particular reference to the case of Greece. Greece was the first Eurozone country to face an enormous deficit, which reached 15% of GDP in 2009. As the Greek crisis unfolded, other Eurozone countries displayed identical symptoms, albeit in varying degrees of severity. From a strictly Greek predicament the debt crisis quickly turned into a problem for the European Union as a whole. This first English language translation investigates the causes of this spillover and chronicles the policy responses to combat it. It also discusses Greece's troubled political economy, the country's difficulties in adjusting to the demands of its creditors and the vehement social and political reactions to the policy of austerity.

Through his comprehensive and authoritative analysis, Simitis provides valuable insights into the crucial interconnection between Greece's own economic troubles and the wider European search for macroeconomic stability and sustainable economic growth. As such, the book appeals well beyond those with a narrow academic interest in Greece. This is very much a discussion about the future of the Eurozone and the European Union as a whole.


Part I: How we arrived at this first Memorandum
1. Was Greece ready for the Euro?
2. New Democracy's criminal indifference
3. PASOK's opportunistic optimism
4. Being in denial
5. Ineffective solutions
6. The bitter truth
7. The first Memorandum: a medicine with dangerous side effects
Part II: The Memorandum's first year of implementation
8. The crisis spreads to the Union
9. Implementing the Memorandum: an obstacle race
10. 'An all encompassing plan' to solve the crisis in the Eurozone?
11. 'An all encompassing plan' to solve the crisis in Greece?
12. A year of the Memorandum: seeking a new solution
Part III: Debt restructuring and power games
13. Debt restructuring: The decisions of 21st July
14. A dead end
15. More hitches
16. The new solution
17. Political games with unpredictable consequences
Part IV: Coalition government, psi, second Memorandum
18. A flicker of hope
19. Conflicts at the highest European level
20. The new agreement with the Eurozone (Memorandum II), the PSI
21. An evaluation of the Memorandum(s)
22. Austerity and growth: implementing the decisions of 21st February 2012
23. The crisis peaks
Part V: Elections May-June 2012
24. Elections of 6th May: Euro or drachma?
25. Cracks in the Euro
26. The Union at a dead end: change of course on 29th June
27. The elections of 17th June: a new beginning?
28. Provisional solutions. October 2012-June 2013
29. The evaluations of the assistance programme to Greece
30. Cyprus
Part VI: The future of Greece and the European Union
31. The causes of the crisis are not only economic
32. A new European policy is necessary
A. Economic governance
B. Inclusion and participation
Appendix: Key meetings and decisions of the institutions of the European Union relating to the financial crisis
Note. The main Greek political parties
Figure 1: Net borrowing of Greek government and economy (% of GDP)
Figure 2: Greece. Primary expenditure, expenditure, revenue 1988-2014


Costas Simitis was the Prime Minister of Greece from 1996 to 2004

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