Greece confronted with a two-speed or a variable-geometry Europe

Posted by Antonis D. Papagiannidis 13/03/2017 0 Comment(s) Economia Blog,

Europe slides towards the March 25 Summit at Rome, where the festivities for the 60th anniversary of the European Union will meet, the inevitability of a serious discussion about a two-speed (or: a multiple-speed) Europe, or about a multiple-geometry or an enhanced-cooperation one. This new reality dawns on even the most convinced of Euro federalists. The prospect of a European construction where "the willing and able" will be allowed to go forward/to attempt deeper integration, with the laggards unable to stop such moves forward (but, presumably, without any permanent exclusions were such laggards to decide - or to be enabled - to join the forward pack later) is here to stay.

 

This debate finds Greece in quite sensitive a situation. Radical-left SYRIZA and nationalist - neoconservative ANEL (who form the current peculiar governing coalition in Greece) do not really dispose of the analytic tools needed to confront this situation. Pro-European Opposition parties - right-wing Nea Dimocratia whose founder (C. Karamanlis) is credited with making Greece join the - then - EEC, and centrist parties (of which the larger, PASOK, was instrumental for Greece to join the Eurozone) - sound convinced federalists.

 

The problem common to all of them is that were a honest and strict "willing and able" approach to be adopted for the future of Europe, Greece would be normally relegated to the second or third speed. This goes especially for the projected EMU build-up as well as for a shift from a flawed Monetary to a real Economic Union and for a deeper fiscal and social Union. The "willing" part of that binary approach may be there; but the "able" is far from proven.

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