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Top Economists and Academics Urge EU for Agreement with Greece

National Bank of GreeceEighteen top economists and academics, including two Nobel prize winners in economics, have signed a joint statement, published in The Financial Times, expressing the opinion that the European Union should reach an agreement with Greece.
At the same time, the 18 experts sound the alarm about a possible breakup of the European Union and stressed that growth in Greece, means growth in the rest of the euro zone.
They point out, inter alia, that, “The difficulties in negotiations between Greece and the Eurogroup create a real risk of disagreement with possible serious economic and political consequences not only for Greek people, but for all EU citizens. The essence of an economic union is the give and take, give now and benefit later, and also responding to the democratic demands of the citizens. Indeed, the view of many of us is that the “appropriate compromise” on the part of creditors would favor not only Greece, but even those who ask so adamantly to remain on the same course. Without change, the European structure will collapse.”
Furthermore, the statement says that, “We fear that the inability to achieve a positive agreement could be the beginning of division not only of the euro zone, but also to the whole structure of the European Union… It is clear what Greece needs now: economic recovery — with significant easing of fiscal targets, establishing maximum surplus of 1.5% of GDP, with some financial restructuring of its debts, correlation of debt with a substantial development and financial reforms which include elimination of corruption and weakening the economic power of Greece’s oligarchs.”
Moreover, the economics experts say that the Greek government has a democratic mandate for a policy contrary to the failed policies of the past. For its European partners who are currently attached to a model of draconian fiscal adjustment which leads to poor growth, there is the challenge of recovery, investment and employment. Of course, this requires a degree of pragmatism. In return, however, is the promise of greater growth in Europe.
The statement was signed by:
Prof. Joseph Stiglitz, Columbia University, Nobel prize in Economic Sciences
Prof. Christopher Pissarides, London School of Economics, Nobel prize in Economics
Prof. Mary Kaldor, London School of Economics
Prof. Stephany Griffith-Jones, IPD Columbia University
Michael Burke, Economists Against Austerity
Prof. Panicos Demetriades, University of Leicester; former governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus and member of the Executive Board of the ECB
Prof. Charles Goodhart, London School of Economics
Sir Richard Jolly, Professor Emeritus Institute for Development Studies
Prof. Inge Kaul, Hertie School, Berlin
Prof. Gustav A Horn, Macroeconomic Policy Institute (IMK)
Neil MacKinnon, VTB Capital
Prof. Marcus Miller, Warwick University
Prof. Jose Antonio Ocampo, Columbia University
Avinash Persaud, Peterson Institute for International Economics
Helmut Reisen, Shifting Wealth Consult
Robert Skidelsky, Professor Emeritus, University of Warwick
Hilary Wainwright, Transnational Institute, Amsterdam
Prof. Simon Wren-Lewis, Merton College Oxford

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