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Looked at superficially, the most dramatic turmoil of the crisis process seems to have calmed down. At the same time, however, the predominant austerity policies have deepened the economic and social problems in many countries. The economic and social developments across Europe are drifting apart. The same applies to the political situation. It is the very construction of the monetary union and the European Union single market, as rooted in the Maastricht Treaty, and the implementation of austerity and labour market deregulation policies which make Europe appear to many people as a menace, rather than an achievement. The bottom-line of the present paper is that a gradual recovery from the chronic crisis in the EU and particularly in the eurozone is possible only if there is a change of course in individual countries that then triggers reactions in the policies of other countries and perturbations at the EU level. At the same time, a change of course in individual countries in most cases is no longer feasible without a green light or at least toleration from the level of the European institutions. As the conflict over Greece has shown so far, however, there is still a long and bumpy way to go until the political balance of power in Europe allows for a revision of the predominant policy approach.

Steffen Lehndorff
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Uploaded on on 30/11/-0001
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