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Making Sense of Greek Austerity

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Abstract

The process of approving a Greek drawing on funds provided by the international community is now familiar. There is concern about the prospect of securing an agreement between the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Union (EU), the European Central Bank (ECB), and Greece, which satisfies all parties. This paper suggests that all parties to the agreement have interests in an orderly resolution of the Greek crisis that keeps Greece in the Eurozone. Furthermore, it argues that disagreements and delay before eleventh-hour agreements can best be explained politically. The paper first demonstrates how Greece, the IMF, and the EU each have a clear interest in finding an orderly solution to the Greek crisis that allows it to remain in the Eurozone. It then outlines the incremental nature of the package and its strategic benefit both for the European banking sector, and governments in Greece and the Eurozone more broadly.

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