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How 2014 will arrange the European puzzle

10 September 2013 / 17:09:31  GRReporter
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2014 will be a crucial year for the European Union because, for the first time after the outbreak of the debt crisis in the euro zone, its citizens will go to the polls to elect a new European Parliament. As of 1 January, the presidency will be assumed by Greece, the country where the crisis began and which has become the symbol of the failure of the financial experiment called a monetary union.
    In this regard, the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy ELIAMEP had organized a discussion on the type of Europe we want, on our vision for the European Union and on the European Union we want in 15 or 20 years. "I am part of the so-called European generation that grew up with the image of a Europe of open borders and unlimited opportunities which were the result of open markets," recalls George Pagoulatos, a professor at the University of Economics in Athens. He was also Economic Advisor to caretaker Prime Minister Lucas Papademos and one of the experts who participated in "Greek Economy in Crisis", a film by GRReporter.
    According to professor Pagoulatos, "Today's young generation associates Europe with the lines of the unemployed, the mass protests and limited opportunities. The crisis has made the European Union a symbol of failure." In his opinion the reason for this is that the European Union is trying to deal with the crisis with national rather than European means. "It is clear that the national governments of the South have made mistakes but they have made them along with the mistakes Brussels has made. Why does the plan for economic integration in the euro zone remain on paper? It should have been applied immediately after the monetary unification," states the professor.
    Thassos Yanitsis, a professor at the University of Athens, talked about the lack of leadership at both national and European level. He was also a minister in the cabinet of Prime Minister Lucas Papademos and in the government of Costas Simitis in the late 1990s and is known in the circles of PASOK as one of the reformers. "The European Union was founded in the name of democracy and the welfare of its citizens. Today, more than 60 years later, it can guarantee neither prosperity, nor democracy. For example, the incomes of the Greeks have returned to the levels of 1991," recalled Thassos Yanitsis.

Will you vote in the elections for European Parliament in May 2014?
Tags: European UnionDebt crisisElections for European ParliamentGreece's PresidencyGeorge PagoulatosThassos YanitsisDimitris Kourkoulas
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