Europe after the Greek election: Difficult decisions for a divided Europe

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Post Event Summary
The recent Greek election underscored the continued deterioration of the Greek economy, which has contracted by 16 percent and Greece now faces unemployment across a quarter of its population. At an AEI event on Tuesday, a panel of experts discussed the implications of Greece's election for the survival of the eurozone and the impact on the U.S.

Bruce Stokes of the Pew Global Attitudes Project addressed the public perception problems facing countries like Greece and Italy —  issues which are only compounding those countries' debt problems —but also emphasized that some European leaders such as Germany’s Angela Merkel are capable of exploring creative solutions.  Alessandro Leipold of the Lisbon Council then discussed how long-held tenets of European Union integration were falling apart, stressing how these tenets were testing the limits of Europe's political and financial frameworks. 

Philip Suttle of the Institute of International Finance reoriented the discussion away from Greece and toward Spain's financial sector issues, accentuating how the growing financial problems in Europe have transformed into pressing political and social dilemmas.  Finally, John Makin of AEI summarized the panel's conclusions by describing how Europe has passed an inflection point that makes reactive policy counterproductive.  In order to forestall future crisis and restart growth, he said, leaders must make proactive decisions that preempt problems.

Event Description
Greece’s second parliamentary election on June 17 — which will follow an earlier, failed attempt at creating a national government — could have critical bearing on the euro’s survival. Greece’s political prospects and position within the eurozone in the aftermath of the upcoming election could result in the country leaving the euro.

A panel of economic and financial experts will assess the likelihood of a Greek exit from the euro and will discuss the consequences of any such exit for the survival of the zone. The panel will also consider the impact of an intensified European debt crisis on the U.S. economy and the upcoming U.S. presidential election.

Full video will be posted within 24 hours.

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John H.
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Desmond
Lachman

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