Friday, July 17, 2015

In an exclusive interview with The Guardian, philosopher and proponent of European integration Jürgen Habermas criticized Angela Merkel for “gambling away” the efforts of previous generations to rebuild Germany’s postwar reputation, with her hardline stance on Greece.

He further described the Greek debt deal as damaging both in its result and the way in which it was reached, stressing that “(…) the outcome does not make sense in economic terms because of the toxic mixture of necessary structural reforms of state and economy with further neoliberal impositions that will completely discourage an exhausted Greek population and kill any impetus to growth.”

Commenting on the financial crisis in Europe, he noted that it can be explained as an economic and political failure.

"The balance between politics and the market has come out of sync, at the cost of the welfare state," he said, adding that the Eurozone "must gain the capacity to act at the supra-national level. In view of the chaotic political process triggered by the crisis in Greece we can no longer afford to ignore the limits of the present method of intergovernmental compromise."

Judy Dempsey in an article titled Greece and Iran Are Chances for Europe published at the Carnegie Europe, on July 16, correlated the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the president of Iran Hassan Rouhani, who both made momentus decisions during the week of July 13 that could stimulate Europe’s strategic ambitions. She added that it is now high time for the EU, especially Germany, to help in several ways.

About Greece, Dempsey noted that it is far from certain whether the country has the political will and ability to push through the required from the agreement reforms, which entail the modernization of state institutions that successive governments have neglected. That is why, a strong support from the EU - especially Germany - is required.

Finally, she wrote, in confronting the Greek crisis as well as the momentous change endorsed by Iran, EU leaders must envisage the issue of the EU security and strategic architecture that is needed.