The Greek saga: competing explanations of the Greek crisis

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Mavroudeas, Stavros D. (2015)
  • Publisher: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Kingston University
  • Subject: economics | Greek economic crisis; Eurozone crisis
    • jel: jel:E65 | jel:H60 | jel:F50 | jel:B50

This paper reviews the alternative explanations offered to explain the Greek crisis and checks there analytical and empirical validity. The first part focuses on the mainstream explanations. It distinguishes three main versions ('Greek disease', EMU is an unrectifiable non-OCA, EMU has problems but can be rectified). Mainstream explanations are criticized for failing to comprehend properly the deep structural dimensions of the Greek crisis and attributing it to policy errors. The second part reviews the radical explanations and particularly those around the 'financialization thesis'. It also distinguishes three versions (EMU is the problem, Minskian case, equilibrium of class struggle). These explanations are criticized for offering a weak structural explanation of the Greek crisis by focusing upon policy or conjectural elements. The last part surveys the more classical Marxist explanations of the Greek crisis. These have a different understanding of the relationship between real and financial accumulation from all the previous explanations. Three versions are presented (TRPF, TRPF and underconsumption, TRPF and imperialist exploitation). It is argued that Marxist explanations grasp better than the rest the deep structural dimensions of the Greek crisis.
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