Unleashing the forces of Hellas

February 26, 2010

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Greece is a country that has always punched above its weight. Its population, after all, is barely more than Chad’s. But it has rarely grabbed as much attention as now with a debt crisis that has gone as far as having some people predict the downfall of the whole house of euro.

On leaving the euro zone

March 30, 2009

The strains on various outlying European economies have triggered talk about a break up of the euro zone (usually swiftly followed by denials that any such thing could happen). Now comes an interesting report from the London-based Centre for European Reform, looking at what would happen practically if a country were to leave the currency union. For an insight, the think tank turned to Jan Mathes, a former Slovak National Bank board member who was around when Czechoslovakia split.

Not gloomy enough

November 10, 2008

The European Commission has been pretty gloomy about the prospects for European Union economies in recent days. Its latest forecast last week was for the 15 countries of the euro zone to grow by just 0.1 percent next year. For the 27-nation EU as a whole – this time incorporating the likes of Britain, Poland and Sweden – the number was only slightly better at 0.2 percent.  In fact, the Commission said the outlook was bleak. “The horizon,” said Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, “is dark.”