The Great European Disaster Movie: how a nightmarish vision led to a campaign of European awakening

Paola Buonadonna, Campaigns Director at the Wake Up Foundation, tells the story of The Great European Disaster Movie and what the Wake Up Europe! Campaign which followed is seeking to achieve. UCL is hosting a free screening of this film at the European Institute on 11 November 2015 followed by a critical debate with Annalisa Piras (director, producer and writer of the film) and Bill … Continue reading The Great European Disaster Movie: how a nightmarish vision led to a campaign of European awakening

Do Not Fear Austerity: A Public Meeting with Yanis Varoufakis

Alessandro de Arcangelis, UCL PhD student in History, reports on a ‘public meeting’ with Yanis Varoufakis, and his advice to Jeremy Corbyn. It is shortly after 19.00 when the crowd gathered at the Emmanuel Centre in Westminster bursts into a thunderous applause. Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis walks on stage with unassuming composure. The event, organised on 14 September 2015 by the anti-austerity movement The … Continue reading Do Not Fear Austerity: A Public Meeting with Yanis Varoufakis

Catch-22: Give democracy a chance and keep Greece in the Euro

Ulrike Liebert, Professor in European Studies, looks at the tensions that are arising between the need for effective economic governance in the Eurozone and the need for democratic accountability, both of member states and the EU as a whole, particularly in the context of the outcome of the Greek referendum.

Eurozone leaders sometimes seem to forget that that they are governing an economic and monetary union that is part of the European Union of states and citizens, founded on common values such as ‘respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities’ (Art. 2 TEU).

The Greek population of 11 million represents a minority within the nineteen Eurozone states of some 300 million citizens, a minority which is deeply divided over the burdens which Eurozone rules require them to bear for the sake of the euro’s stability. The referendum of 5 July was an unprecedented instance of a plebiscite on Eurozone bailout conditions, and Eurozone leaders had no choice but to acknowledge it as a legitimate means of democracy. Greek voters turned out in unexpectedly high numbers and forcefully spoke their will.

Continue reading “Catch-22: Give democracy a chance and keep Greece in the Euro”

Greece: a crisis of trust?

Geoffrey Hosking, Emeritus Professor of Russian History at UCL’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies, gives his view of what went wrong before and during the Greek crisis, and of the challenges that now lie ahead. To him the problem is centrally one of a lack of trust. The Greek crisis goes back a long way, and at several stages demonstrated the dangers of … Continue reading Greece: a crisis of trust?

Greece: Don’t take it at face value

On 30 June, Greece defaulted on its loan repayments to the IMF. Providing a counterpoint to anti-austerity commentaries, Richard Corbett, Member of the European Parliament from 1996-2009 and since 2014, argues that the bailout loans and the debt restructuring that Greece received were a show of European solidarity, rather than imposing austerity. Had they not attenuated the pain, he explains, the plight of Greece would … Continue reading Greece: Don’t take it at face value