More than eight years after the beginning of the financial crisis, Greece remains in a dire economic situation: a youth unemployment rate over 50 percent and its voters growing tired of austerity, seen as imposed by foreign powers, including the institutions 'formerly known as the troika' of the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund.
The Coalition of the Radical Left, a Greek political party known as Syriza, was elected in January largely on the promise that they would put an end to these austerity measures.
With the extension of the second aid programme drawing to a close, the Syriza government now finds itself in the difficult situation of needing to satisfy the requirements of the providers of bailout loans, whilst at the same time following up on the promises made to voters during the elections to end austerity measures.
After many failed negotiation attempts between Greece and its creditors, the Greek government on Sunday 28 June authorized Prime Minister Alexi Tsipras’ proposed 5 July bailout referendum. Greeks were asked to vote on whether to accept or reject the latest terms offered by creditors to Athens in order to unlock billions of euros in bailout funds. This sets Greece on course for a plebiscite that has increased the chances of a “Grexit”. In addition, Greece formally defaulted on a €1.55bn payment to the IMF on 1 July. Will this situation escalate to the point of pushing Greece out of the Eurozone? Will Greece and its creditors finally reach an agreement to attempt to solve this crisis?
Join us on Wednesday 15 July with experts Cinzia Alcidi and Theodoros Koutroubas to take stock of the latest developments concerning the Greek situation and explore the possibility of a new bail-out programme, or a default and exit of the eurozone, as the negotiations veer into unchartered territory.
-Gabriele Giudice, Head of Unit (Greece) at DG ECFIN which monitors the Greek economy, and on behalf of the Euro Area Member States the implementation of the economic adjustment programme of Greece. In this context he is the Deputy Mission Chief for the Commission in the so-called Troika (EC, ECB, IMF), in the negotiations with the Greek authorities.
-Cinzia Alcidi is the Head of Economic Policy Unit at CEPS, Center for European Policy Studies. She is an expert on International Macroeconomics, Monetary Policy, International Finance.
-Professor Theodoros Koutroubas has a PhD in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Louvain (UCL). Trained by the European Commission as an evaluator of projects eligible for EU funding, Professor Koutroubas is also an Invited Professor of the Catholic University of Louvain where he teaches a course on "Communication, Political Marketing and Lobbying" at the Masters level.
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