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21 Jun 2010

The role of politicians in inciting financial markets to attack the eurozone

Jacopo Carmassi / Stefano Micossi

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While acknowledging that the sustainability of sovereign debt is a serious issue that must be confronted, this EuropEos Commentary finds that financial markets have blown the problem completely out of proportion, leading to a full-scale confidence crisis. The authors present evidence suggesting that politicians’ public disagreements and careless statements at critical junctures may have added oil to incipient fire. By creating the impression that domestic political interests would take precedence over orderly management of the Greek debt crisis, they raised broader doubts about their ability to address fundamental economic divergences within the area, which are the real source of debt sustainability problems in the medium term.

Jacopo Carmassi is an economist at Assonime. Stefano Micossi is Director General of Assonime and a member of the CEPS Board of Directors.