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An Outline of a Progressive Resolution to the Euro-area Sovereign Debt Overhang: How a Five-year Suspension of the Debt Burden Could Overthrow Austerity

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  • Dimitris P. Sotiropoulos
  • John Milios
  • Spyros Lapatsioras

Abstract

The present study puts forward a plan for solving the sovereign debt crisis in the euro area (EA) in line with the interests of the working classes and the social majority. Our main strategy is for the European Central Bank (ECB) to acquire a significant part of the outstanding sovereign debt (at market prices) of the countries in the EA and convert it to zero-coupon bonds. No transfers will take place between individual states; taxpayers in any EA country will not be involved in the debt restructuring of any foreign eurozone country. Debt will not be forgiven: individual states will agree to buy it back from the ECB in the future when the ratio of sovereign debt to GDP has fallen to 20 percent. The sterilization costs for the ECB are manageable. This model of an unconventional monetary intervention would give progressive governments in the EA the necessary basis for developing social and welfare policies to the benefit of the working classes. It would reverse present-day policy priorities and replace the neoliberal agenda with a program of social and economic reconstruction, with the elites paying for the crisis. The perspective taken here favors social justice and coherence, having as its priority the social needs and the interests of the working majority.

Suggested Citation

  • Dimitris P. Sotiropoulos & John Milios & Spyros Lapatsioras, 2014. "An Outline of a Progressive Resolution to the Euro-area Sovereign Debt Overhang: How a Five-year Suspension of the Debt Burden Could Overthrow Austerity," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_819, Levy Economics Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_819
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    File URL: http://www.levyinstitute.org/pubs/wp_819.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Charles Wyplosz, 2011. "Debt Sustainability Assessment: Mission Impossible," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 2(3).
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    1. repec:taf:fosoec:v:46:y:2017:i:3:p:311-314 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Euro Area; Sovereign Debt; European Central Bank; Unconventional Monetary Policies;

    JEL classification:

    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • F65 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Finance
    • H12 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Crisis Management
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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