Best of the Blogs – 07 February 2012

The last weeks in Europe have been heavy on drama, but light on solutions
By Phillip Souta, Business for New Europe

This article by Business for New Europe revisits the debate surrounding the UK’s use of its veto during EU talks over fiscal reform. It identifies key examples that show that the UK is not alone in having problems with EU treaties and initiatives. It also attempts to shine a greater light on the fact that the agreement reached in December has failed to tackle the Eurozone crisis and that Germany need to face the fact that without structural reform, the only option available is a break-up of the Euro.

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Greece’s real challenge
By Katinka Barysch, Centre for European Reform

This post by Katinka Barysch of Centre for European Reform looks at the task ahead of Greece’s government as it attempts to negotiate a new bail-out package before March 20th, the date when a large debt repayment is due. The blog looks at the suggestions by the OECD that Greece’s central government is incapable of designing and implementing growth-boosting reforms and argues that only the Greek people can hold the country’s often self-serving politicians to account.

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The Greek End-Game?
By Open Europe

This piece by Open Europe documents the current negotiations between the Greek government and EU/IMF/ECB troika. It argues that the Eurozone’s focus is on achieving a consensus from the Greek political elite to commit to greater austerity, rather than paying attention to “side” issues about how much money will actually be paid out in the second bailout and whether the official sector (eurozone loans/ECB) will take losses in the restructuring. The post also provides running updates from the negotiations.

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The origins of laissez-faire
By Prof Jeremy Jennings, Centre for Policy Studies

In this Centre for Policy Studies post, Prof Jeremy Jennings discusses the origins of the term “laissez-faire”, identifying Jean-Claude-Marie Vincent de Gournay as the source. The post discusses Gournay and his ideas, including how “laissex-faire” came to mean that “every man ought best to be left at liberty to do what he likes”. Prof Jeremy Jennings is director of the Centre for the Study of Political Thought at Queen Mary, University of London.

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