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Joseph Stiglitz, Thomas Piketty and Other Renowned Economists Demand an End to Greek Austerity

Posted on Jun 12, 2015

Mint Candies / CC BY-ND 2.0

Twenty-six of the world’s most distinguished economic minds proclaimed their solidarity with Greece’s ruling anti-austerity party in an essay published in the Financial Times in early June.

In These Times reports of the letter, which is behind a pay wall:

The article’s authors—a group that includes Joseph Stiglitz, Thomas Piketty, Marcus Miller and former Prime Minister of Italy Massimo D’Alema—summarized their message as a “plea for economic sanity and humanity.”  Arguing that the fate of the European Union depends on the ability of Greece and its creditor institutions to compromise, they demanded that the European Union provide “forbearance and finance to promote structural reform and financial recovery,” and that Greece demonstrate “credible commitment” to reform and playing “a positive role in the EU.”

At the center of the article is austerity’s failure to remedy Greece’s economic woes. “Austerity drastically reduces revenue from tax reform,” they write “and restricts the space for change to make administration accountable and socially efficient.” Moreover, they continue, “the constant concessions required by the government mean that Syriza is in danger of losing political support and thus its ability to create a program that will bring Greece out of the crisis.”

At stake, they say, is nothing less than the failure of Greek democracy and the rise of “much more radical and dysfunctional challenges, fundamentally hostile to the EU.”

Read more here.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.


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