Past Event! Note: this event has already taken place.

Greek Democracy Under Stress: Political Reform and the Eurozone Crisis

January 22, 2015 at 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM

Location:Alumni Boardroom, 6th Floor, Room 617 Robertson Hall
Key Contact:Cathleen Schmidt
Contact Phone:613-520-2600, ext. 1087

CES will be hosting an event entitled “Greek Democracy Under Stress” Political Reform and the Eurozone Crisis” with professor Emmanuel Sigalas.


Europe’s recent crisis has been termed predominantly in economic terms almost ignoring the role of political factors. As a result of this bias, there is a widespread belief that the problems of the periphery member states of the EU can be dealt with painful economic reforms overlooking the importance of political reforms. Therefore, one is misled to believe that following years of austerity economics in Greece, the weakest link in the Eurozone chain, Europe’s monetary union is safe again. My intention is not only to remind that the EMU was never safe, but to warn that it is never going to be safe, unless far-reaching political changes take place.

Given that the prospects of a European fiscal, let alone political, union appear bleaker than ever, the onus of adjustment falls on the EU member states themselves. Whereas in the case of Germany the Euro-crisis led to the strengthening of the national parliament, in the case of Greece exactly the opposite happened. The weakening and the delegitimation of the Greek parliament endanger not only the sustainability of economic reforms, but the very foundations of democracy in Greece. In theory, the 2010-2012 political unrest in Greece should have triggered structural political reforms with the purpose of restoring public trust and deepening political legitimacy. Four years later hardly any political reforms have taken place and none of them is structural in nature. Thus, even if Greece’s economic problems subside in the short-term, in the long-term the country’s structural political deficiencies will threaten once again its economy and possibly the stability of the Eurozone.

Registration is not required for this event. Light refreshments will be served.

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