Europe’s Monetary (Dis)Union
Europe's Progress Toward Economic Integration
New Opportunities and New Challenges
Euro Fantasies: Common Currency as Panacea
The Case for EMU: More than Money
EMU and International Conflict
The Dollar and the Euro
The Degeneration of EMU
The Future of the Euro
Why the Greek Crisis Will Not Ruin Europe’s Monetary Union
The Failure of the Euro
The Little Currency That Couldn’t
The Crisis of Europe
How the Union Came Together and Why It’s Falling Apart
Can Europe’s Divided House Stand?
Separating Fiscal and Monetary Union
Saving the Euro Will Mean Worse Trouble for Europe
Charting the Disastrous Choices Ahead
Can the Eurozone Be Saved?
Yes, but the EU Summit Was Too Little, Too Late
How to Save the Euro -- and the EU
Reading Keynes in Brussels
Why Only Germany Can Fix the Euro
Reading Kindleberger in Berlin
The Myth of German Hegemony
Why Berlin Can't Save Europe Alone
Europe's Optional Catastrophe
The Fate of the Monetary Union Lies in Germany’s Hands
Why the Euro Will Survive
Completing the Continent’s Half-Built House
Avoiding the Next Eurozone Crisis
How to Build an EU that Works
Europe After the Crisis
How to Sustain a Common Currency
Europe's New Normal
It's Here, It's Unclear, Get Used to It
So Long, Austerity?
Syriza's Victory and the Future of the Eurozone
Austerity vs. Democracy in Greece
Europe Crosses the Rubicon
Why Greece Will Cave—and How
Alexis Tsipras and the Debt Negotiations
Why Greece and Europe Will Still Stay Attached
How to Contain Athens' Economic Problems
A Pain in the Athens
Why Greece Isn't to Blame for the Crisis
The Agreekment That Could Break Europe
Euroskeptics, Eurocritics, and Life After the Bailout
Since the January 2015 election of a coalition government made up of the left-wing SYRIZA party and the right-wing ANEL (Independent Greeks) party, Greece has been in constant negotiation with the EU about reformulating the Greek bailout. Although Athens has often (but not always) denied it, any new deal will come with serious restrictions on the Greek people.
The negotiations are secret, but there are plenty of leaks on both sides. They traffic not in facts but in the impressions of people participating in, or close to, the talks. It is clear that the Greek government is relentlessly optimistic—it has been expecting an agreement “any day now” ever since the removal of Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister, from the chief negotiating position last month—whereas the rest of the EU cannot see striking a deal anytime soon.
In other words, the leaks and conflicting daily statements from participants offer little clarity about the real state of affairs. Beneath them, though, lie structural issues that imply the EU has the upper hand. In the negotiating game, the deck is stacked in the EU’s favor. In the Greek domestic game, it favors Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who wants a compromise.
In any negotiation, the two parties have “reservation prices” (that is, the point at which a negotiator would rather forgo any agreement). Reservation prices depend on how beneficial the deal on the table is and how disruptive the alternative would be. Understanding that Greece represents only three percent of the EU’s GDP, an outside observer might believe that the EU’s reservation price is quite low—it would be willing to walk away from the talks much sooner than the Greeks. In turn, any agreement will be weighted this way. Yet there are some additional factors—one institutional and one substantive—that are important to note.
The EU’s institutional advantage is that decisions (in the Eurogroup and in the council) are made unanimously, which implies that
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