Hard Work and External Help: How to Successfully Conduct Macroeconomic Adjustment With Official Assistance

What are the factors that ensure a successful and durable completion of a financial assistance programme? Past experience with IMF-supported adjustment programmes underlines the importance of external conditions but also of fiscal consolidation, financial repair and structural reforms. These findings vindicate the strategy pursued in recent adjustment programmes in the euro area: putting the fiscal […]

Portugal: Completing the Job

By Subir Lall (Version in Português) Today the IMF released a report on Portugal’s progress under the country’s Economic Adjustment Program. What is the latest assessment? A strong start There is no doubt that Portugal has made remarkable progress over the past three years. When the sovereign lost access to international bond markets in 2011, the outlook was grim. […]

Eurozone Sovereign Debt: All Quiet on the Southern Front

After a wild ride in 2011-2012, interest rates have settled down on European sovereign debt. For now. Yields on long-term government bonds, Jan 2009 to Nov 2013. Data source: Eurostat. Greek yields fell sharply following the PSI agreement in March 2012, a de facto default that ended up reducing the value of Greek’s debt by 20%. But as […]

The Iberian County

This article explains why Portugal has become the Iberian County instead of the Iberian Country. Catalonia will reach the same status if it were to become independent, myopically speaking. In an increasingly interconnected World, where an unstoppable China in an emerging Asia remains the emerging superpower, and the United States is resisting to let go […]

How to Fix Spain’s Educational Fiasco

This article explains what for many readers would be quite an extravagant proposal: to bring One Hundred Thousand Indian Engineers to Spain and then Portugal on five year shifts to teach Math and Science in High Schools throughout the territory. For this purpose it is proposed that Spain’s three largest Universidades Politécnicas (Catalunya, Madrid and […]

Germany and the Euro-Surrealpolitik

This articles reviews the theory behind Optimum Currency Areas and the lack of willingness in the European Union and particularly of Germany to lead the process of political and fiscal unions. With Britain maintaining its euro-skeptical status and France and Italy immersed in political crisis, there remains little hope that the Eurozone will ever become […]

The Republic’s King

Portugal is one of Europe’s oldest nations. It became a Kingdom when it split from the Kingdom of León in 1143. It has been a Republic since 1910. As in many other Republics there is a heir to the throne who claims to be the legitimate successor of the once upon a time King. Dom […]

How to Resolve the Fiscal Problems of Southern Europe?

The Southern European fiscal mess has triggered the crisis on the continent. In January 2010, the European Commission discovered falsifications of the Greek budget statistics (Arganda and Caselli 2012). It undermined investors’ confidence in the country’s debt securities. A sharp increase in bond rates forced Brussels to rescue Greece from default. The Greek government received […]

Why José Saramago Was Right

José Saramago, one of Portugal’s best writers ever and the only one who has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1998, anticipated in an interview by Portugal’s Diario de Noticias on July 14th 2007, that Portugal would end up integrating with Spain in a new state he would call Iberia, explaining that: Culturally, […]

Looking at Europe’s Jobs Challenge: ‘A Way Out Does Exist!’

We are in the midst of an extremely delicate and fragile historical nexus. The crisis is worse than ever and is hitting above all those companies that are less-prepared and the weaker strata of society. Young people find themselves in ever-greater difficulty (one out of three in Italy and one out of two in Spain […]

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