Greece

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Snapshot,
Omar G. Encarnación

After the radical-left Syriza party came to power in Greece, attention has turned to Spain's Podemos—a leftist party gaining traction in the polls—that could matter even more for European austerity policies.

Snapshot,
Mark Blyth and Cornel Ban

Just as Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon river, in spite of the warnings of the Roman Senate not to, so has Alex Tsipras, leader of the anti-austerity party, Syriza, decided to try to end austerity in Greece, in spite of Europe’s leaders saying he shouldn’t. Whether Tsipras will succeed is still unclear, but whatever happens, his victory represents a crucial turning point for Europe—a signal that time has run out on austerity policies.

Postscript,
Stathis N. Kalyvas

Talk of overturning austerity aside, Greece still needs the last 7.2 billion euro installment of the bailout to cover its financing gap. For the time being, then, the new government will need to abide by the program’s requirements—that is, the very combination of austerity and reform that Syriza has pledged to overturn. This may be enough to break the party.

Snapshot,
Yuri M. Zhukov

So far, public debate about the intervention in Syria has centered on the immediate scope and aims of any U.S.-led military operation, and whether the U.S. Congress should be involved. But no matter how the possible intervention and its aftermath play out, one thing is certain: the eastern Mediterranean -- where exploratory drilling has unearthed vast reserves of natural gas, and where competition between Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey is already fierce -- will become less stable.

Snapshot,
Ehud Eiran and Yuval Zur

A small country hemmed in on its land borders by adversaries, Israel has always relied on the Mediterranean to avoid commercial and political isolation. New developments at sea, including the discovery of natural gas deposits and the growth of illicit trade, will only increase the importance of maritime issues for the country. Israel needs a comprehensive maritime strategy.

Snapshot,
Stathis N. Kalyvas

The center-right New Democracy (ND) party and the Coalition of the Radical Left, known as Syriza, are in a dead heat in the run-up to Sunday's Greek legislative elections. Despite ND's desire to keep the country in the eurozone, the party's campaign talk may be too little, too late. Supposing a Syriza win, the scenarios for Greece, and for Europe, grow dark, quickly.

Snapshot,
Mark Blyth and Matthias Matthijs

Two years, three sovereign bailouts, more than a trillion euros in cheap ECB loans, and dozens of summits later, the latest developments in Germany suggest that Berlin is moving to solve the continent's crisis. But the country’s idea of a solution remains a system in which Berlin gets de facto and de jure veto power over national budgets in return for eurobonds. That misses the point: the crisis is not fiscal, but financial. It began, and it will end, with the banks.

Essay, May/June 2012
Andrew Moravcsik

As Europe emerges from economic crisis, a larger challenge remains: finally turning the eurozone into an optimal currency area, with economies similar enough to sustain a single monetary policy. Getting there will be difficult and expensive, but the future of European integration hangs in the balance.

Letter From,
Antonis Kamaras

Before the first World War, Greek cities successfully managed their own affairs. Then modernization brought centralization, which paved the way for the current crisis. Now the country needs to get back to its roots.

Snapshot,
Abraham Newman

The euro crisis is not a simple story of Greek sinners and German saints. In fact, imposing austerity on the eurozone's periphery alone will accomplish little. To save the continent, its richer countries and private investors must share in the sacrifice.

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