Maddy Evans, Jubilee Debt Campaign

February 2015


A new year for the reading group and interesting times in the Eurozone crisis.


If you’ve been reading the news recently you’ll know that anti-austerity party Syriza have just stormed to power in Greece, with their anti-austerity policies and plans to renegotiate the payment of Greece’s debt almost bringing them to an outright majority in the polls.


Austerity has impacted the Greek people hard, with unemployment now standing at 25%, and youth unemployment at 50%, soaring infant mortality rates, rising HIV rates, the return of malaria, frequent cases of people admitted to hospital due to malnutrition, and a corresponding 25% cut in the health budget.


Syriza proposes a roll back of austerity policies, and an end to the humanitarian crisis in Greece. This includes policies like reinstating sacked workers, and reconnecting electricity supplies that have been cut off by companies.


As this article points out Syriza’s main bargaining power is the potential that Greece will refuse to pay if a renegotiation of the debt, including a roll back of austerity policies, is not agreed. But other members of the Eurozone will be reluctant to make such an agreement, especially where a successful resistance to the austerity and bailout regime by Green would be an inspiration to other struggling countries, particularly interesting as the new anti-austerity party Podemos gain popularity in Spain.


Maybe you’re wondering how the Eurozone got into this situation in the first place, and what kind of alternatives to the austerity and debt cycle have been tried before? If so, you’re in the right place! Check out THINGS TO READ for our 11 part reading group which will take you through the basics.


We’ve been working on updating the reading group pages since the new year, adding a new part on “Is the economy recovering” which will take you through resources explaining what ‘growth’ actually means, and who is benefitting from the UK ‘recovery’, it’s follows on well from part 7 “Inequality and wage stagnation”, so if you’re looking for just a couple of sections to read I recommend those as a combination.




New Year, New Reading.

Each week someone from the econowhat? team will be reading the books and articles and watching the film. That person will post up their comments here to get the discussion started, then please add your own comments. The bloggers are not expert economists, but other people we know are, so don't be shy to ask questions.

The Readers' Blog

Nadia Idle stacks_image_220_1ruthbergen Maddysmall

The bloggers

Nadia Idle, War on Want

Maddy Evans, Jubilee Debt Campaign

Ruth Bergan, Trade Justice Movement

New comments cannot be added at the moment due to a technical problem which should be fixed soon. In the meantime you can join in the discussion on the Facebook group.