M1738 - CALLAGHAN TEXT.indd 81
Responses to the crisis
In May 2001, Jospin renewed calls for the full establishment of the
‘economic government’ of Europe in a speech setting out his European
agenda (Jospin 2001). Pisani-Ferry and then Trade Commissioner Pascal
Lamy further elaborated French Socialist euro reform proposals (Lamy and
Pisani-Ferry 2002). Celebrating the creation of the Eurogroup as a ‘notable
success’ of the ‘French left’s European project’ (2002: 49–50), they contrasted this favourably with ‘a Europe constructed on
arrangement harmed not only banks, both foreign and domestic, but
also investment houses, social security funds and small investors who had put
their savings in bonds. The government promised that it would go some way to
compensate the funds for their losses, as well as the small bondholders. This
promise, however, was given hastily and without due consideration. The Eurogroup reacted with a statement on 9 March, clarifying Greece’s responsibilities.
In order to avoid the legal challenges that might arise from non-compliance
with the principle of equality of treatment, the
discussions concerning an alternative plan. A year
had passed, but anxiety, uncertainty and the fear of what the future held had
only grown. Hope of a swift return to normality had evaporated.
3/13/2014 1:56:39 PM
Part II: The Memorandum’s first year of implementation
Confusion over what should be done peaked with the convening of a
‘secret summit’ in Luxembourg, on 6 May 2011. Greece and the most affluent
members of the Eurogroup were in attendance. Despite the intention to keep
this meeting secret, the media got wind of it. They immediately
a massive 20.18%, reached a staggering 30.8% by the end of May.
Europe’s political elite were no less impatient. Angela Merkel underlined
the need to continue strictly implementing the agreed reform programme. The
German Minister of Finance stated that the Memorandum ‘is not negotiable’.
No one ‘wants Greece to exit the Eurozone’, but ‘the choice between the
parties is a choice between staying in the Eurozone or leaving it’.16 The President of the Eurogroup, Claude Juncker, appeared mildly more conciliatory
in the meeting of the ministers of finance in Brussels on
this second Memorandum by the Greek Parliament and its approval by the
Eurogroup; a decision on the recapitalisation of Greek banks; negotiations
with lenders and completion of the arrangements for private sector involvement (PSI); and finally parliamentary endorsement of the new Memorandum
in other Eurozone nations, as required. Subsequent to the agreement on,
and endorsement of, the second Memorandum, further parliamentary and
administrative action would have follow in Greece, to foster the required
fiscal measures and structural changes mandated in the text. Given
€110 billion, precisely the sum it owed to the Eurozone banks. Once that was
done, the Eurogroup was extremely slow to act on the European debt crisis.
It then believed that the basic problem, that of Greece, had been resolved and
there was no pressing need for further decisions.
The current global climate necessitates mechanisms for monitoring the
international markets, rules to clamp down on international speculation and
central political authorities that are in a position to impose on the markets
behaviour that will protect the shared interests of the
. It would seem that in Portugal common ground for a ‘left’ identity has emerged for parties as disparate as centre left and radical left. In the 2017 local elections, the results remained good for the PS ( Table 4.3 ). As of January 2018, the Portuguese Finance Minister, Mário Centeno (Council of the European Union, 2018 ), has become president of the Eurogroup, without it having, so far, created major stress upon the parliamentary left ‘coalition’. The results of the European Parliament election in 2019 (see Table 4.3 ) also show that the electors’ assessment of
obvious that the development of publicly owned real estate … does not mean
selling off public land’ and ‘only the Greek government has the right to take
such decisions’. Despite these statements, following a Eurogroup meeting on 12
March 2011, it was confirmed that Greece agreed ‘to carry out the programme
of privatisations and development of real estate … [worth approximately]
€50 billion’. Initially the programme was expected to yield €8.5 billion by 2013,
with a further €24 billion by 2016.
Agreement to such a programme of privatisation is indicative of the
operations were of a defining nature; (2) the ministers of finance would also attend the
Eurogroup and would have their own president; (3) the European summit would be
presided over by a permanent president, elected by the leaders. It would convene at
least twice a year.
9 V. Zeras, Kathimerini, 29–30 October 2012, p. 4.
10 L. Feld, one of the five members of the Economic Council of Experts that was
advising the German government, said in an interview he gave to Kathimerini,
13 November 2011, p. 10: ‘I believe there will be a renegotiation of Greek debt
found itself at following the announcement of a referendum. He managed to enact the principal decisions
taken at the Eurogroup summit of 21 February, and he oversaw the resulting
restructuring of debt and the negotiation of the second Memorandum as well
as pushing forward the adjustment programme. These were no small feats and
marked a significant success. Dialogue with the EU opened once more and
the Eurozone continued to support the country, while the continual pejorative assessments of Greece dwindled a little. Papademos brought what the