Welcome to the Poisoned Chalice: The Destruction of Greece and the Future of Europe

Welcome to the Poisoned Chalice: The Destruction of Greece and the Future of Europe

by James K. Galbraith


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A world-renowned economist offers cogent and powerful reflections on one of the great avoidable economic catastrophes of the modern era

The economic crisis in Greece is a potential international disaster and one of the most extraordinary monetary and political dramas of our time. The financial woes of this relatively small European nation threaten the long-term viability of the Euro while exposing the flaws in the ideal of continental unity. "Solutions" proposed by Europe’s combined leadership have sparked a war of prideful words and stubborn one-upmanship, and they are certain to fail, according to renowned economist James K. Galbraith, because they are designed for failure. It is this hypocrisy that prompted former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, when Galbraith arrived in Athens as an adviser, to greet him with the words “Welcome to the poisoned chalice.”
In this fascinating, insightful, and thought-provoking collection of essays—which includes letters and private memos to both American and Greek officials, as well as other previously unpublished material—Galbraith examines the crisis, its causes, its course, and its meaning, as well as the viability of the austerity program imposed on the Greek citizenry. It is a trenchant, deeply felt commentary on what the author calls “economic policy as moral abomination,” and an eye-opening analysis of a contemporary Greek tragedy much greater than the tiny economy of the nation itself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300220445
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 06/21/2016
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

James K. Galbraith holds the Lloyd M. Bentsen, Jr., Chair in Government/Business Relations at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of eight books and hundreds of articles for both scholarly and general-interest journals.

Table of Contents

1 Welcome to the Poisoned Chalice 1

Part I 2010-2014

2 Europe's Crisis: Thinking It Through to the End 23

3 Greece and the European Project 28

4 A Question of Moral Responsibility 31

5 Neither Austerity nor Growth: Solidarity Is Europe's Only Hope 36

6 The Victory of syriza is Not Against American Interests with Yanis Varoufakis 39

7 The United States and Europe: What Is Going On? 42

Part II 2015

8 The Greek Hope 49

9 A Message to Sarah Raskin 52

10 A Comment on the Way Forward 56

11 America Must Rally to Greece 58

12 Reading the Greek Deal Correctly 61

13 A Great German Greek Grexit Game? 66

14 The Political Level 70

15 A Report from Athens 73

16 Does Europe Need Debt Relief? 81

17 Long-Term Strategy Through a Realistic Lens 83

18 Strategic Options 91

19 A Further Message to Sarah Raskin 94

20 The Greek Drama and Democracy in Europe 97

21 Notes on the Meeting, Varoufakis-Schäuble, June 8, 2015 119

22 What Is Reform? The Strange Case of Greece and Europe 122

23 What Can Happen in the Next Days? 127

24 Bad Faith: The IMF and Europe on Greece 130

25 Only the "No" Can Save the Euro 134

26 Nine Myths About the Greek Referendum 138

27 What Is the Matter with Europe? 142

28 Exit Made Easy 145

29 Greece, Europe, and the United States 151

30 Plan B 155

31 Statement on the Ministry of Finance Working Group 159

32 A Note to the Editors at the Guardian 161

33 Death Spiral Ahead? 163

34 The Future of Europe 168

35 What the Greek Memorandum Means with Daniel Munevar 174

36 Back to Square Zero 181

37 A Final Word: Madrid, October 21, 2015 185

Appendix: A Summary of Plan X 189

Acknowledgments 199

Notes 201

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Welcome to the Poisoned Chalice: The Destruction of Greece and the Future of Europe 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
ElliottK More than 1 year ago
James Galbraith recognizes that the European Union is mired in its most acute crisis since its founding. As a strong believer in the E.U., he offers a succinct diagnosis of the problems, but just as importantly, prescriptions on how to deal with them. In short, Galbraith offers Keynesian solutions along with a dedication to deeper political and economic integration. The book is a great read for anyone interested in the political economy issues of modern Europe.