Conflicting Claims in the Eurozone? Austerity’s Myopic Logic and the Need for a European Federal Union in a post-Keynesian Eurozone Center-Periphery Model
In this paper we analyze the role of the nowadays Eurozone institutional setup in fostering the ongoing peripheral Euro countries’ sovereign debt crisis. According to the Modern Money Theory, we stress that the lack of a federal European government running anti-cyclical fiscal policy, the loss of monetary sovereignty by Euro Member States and the lack of a lender-of-last-resort central bank has significantly contributed to generate, amplify and protract the present crisis. In particular, we present a post- Keynesian Eurozone center-periphery model through which we show how, due to the incomplete nature of Eurozone institutions with respect to a full-fledged federal union, diverging trends and conflicting claims have emerged between center and peripheral Euro countries in the aftermath of the 2007-2008 financial meltdown. We emphasize two points. (i) Diverging trends and conflicting claims among Euro countries may represent a decisive obstacle to reform Eurozone towards a complete federal entity. However, they may prove to be self-defeating in the long run should financial turbulences seriously deepen also in large peripheral countries. (ii) Austerity packages alone do not address the core point of the Eurozone crisis. They could have sense only if included in a much wider reform agenda, whose final purpose is the creation of a federal European government which can run expansionary fiscal stances and of a government banker. In this sense, the unlimited bond-buying program recently launched by the European Central Banks is interpreted as a positive although mild step in the right direction out of the extreme monetarism which has so far shaped Eurozone institutions.
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