POSTS BY Pavlos Eleftheriadis

Losing to the European Union: A Review of Yanis Varoufakis’ Book “Adults in the Room”

Varoufakis gives a detailed account of a saga that gripped international public opinion two years ago, propelled him to international stardom and ended in economic and social disaster for the Greeks. The book is readable and interesting, even if it is full of the author’s familiar hyperbolic statements. It will be of value to anyone with an interest the Eurozone crisis, and especially to British readers who are concerned about Brexit. The parallels between Varoufakis’ ideologically motivated clash with the EU and the British government’s similarly confrontational attitude with the EU are too obvious to miss. 

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On the new Legal Settlement of the UK with the EU

In this brief comment I discuss some of the legal questions that arise out of the proposals for a new settlement between the UK and the EU.[1] As I will show, the precise nature of the draft agreement is unclear. This legal instrument raises difficult issues of both EU and public international law and could potentially cause serious uncertainty or even a constitutional crisis. Press reports have missed this legal complexity. Ministerial statements have been silent about it.

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Greece: voting for or against Europe

A ‘no’ result in the Greek referendum next Sunday will set in motion the process of disengagement from the Eurozone. It is true that the EU cannot throw Greece out of the Euro. There is no legal mechanism for ‘Grexit’ as Syriza’s ministers say again and again. But this is irrelevant. The mechanism will work the other way round: the Greek government will beg for Grexit, when it finds out that it absolutely has to recapitalise its banks within a matter of days and discovers that the unilateral creation of a new currency is against EU law.

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The Unfair Eurozone

The Eurozone crisis has raised serious concerns about injustice in the distribution of resources, burdens and risks. The functioning of the Eurozone has had great unintended consequences. In the past five years five member states have needed assistance of one kind or another (Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Cyprus) and are going through painful adjustment. This shows that the problem is systemic, not particular to each one of them. The problems in the design of the Eurozone, which is not an ‘optimal currency union’ are well known.

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