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Weeks, John (2014) 'Euro Crises and Euro Scams: Trade not Debt and Deficits Tell the Tale.' Review of Political Economy, 26 (2). pp. 171-189.

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Abstract

The euro crisis has been typically presented as excessive fiscal deficits leading to the accumulation of unsustainable public debts. This debt and deficit diagnosis applied most notably in Greece and Italy, but also in Portugal and Spain (the ‘PIGS’). Implicit in much of the analysis, and occasionally explicit, is the suggestion that these were not only profligate but also lazy PIGS that spent beyond their means and abandoned a commitment to international competitiveness. This article demonstrates that the German export-led growth strategy generated large trade and current account deficits throughout the eurozone in the 2000s. When the global financial crisis struck the continent in 2008, these trade-based deficits proved unsustainable. With the exception of Greece, neither public debts nor fiscal deficits represented a major problem among eurozone countries prior to 2008. The analysis leads to measures that could have avoided the crisis of sovereign debt entirely, as well as corrected the unsustainable trade balances in the euro zone. These policies were not seriously considered, with the result that in the second decade of the 21st century the future of the common currency is in doubt.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Economics
ISSN: 09538259
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.1080/09538259.2014.881009
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2021 08:25
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/35029

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