For quite a while, CETA was top news in Canada, and one would have expected that the Harper government would proudly present it as a success story for an active trade policy agenda. However, 'lie low' and 'fly under the radar' has been so far the attitude taken, not only by the Conservatives but also by the two other main Canadian parties. It seems that the latter are somehow happy not to present their actual thinking about Canada's future in the global economy.
July 9th 2015 - by Dr. Elena Pnevmonidou, University of Victoria
About to reach what began to look like the hoped-for successful renegotiation of the bailout deal, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras suddenly announced on June 26 that he would hold a referendum and recommended that the Greek voters reject the new terms of the bailout set out by the Eurogroup and the IMF. Since that unexpected turn, events have unfolded at a breathtaking pace and in an at times absurd fashion. By calling for a referendum, Tsipras abruptly broke off negotiations and prompted the angered Eurogroup to withdraw the proposed renegotiated bailout from the table. Yet Greece went ahead with the referendum. A solid majority of 61% voted to reject what was on July 5 already a null-and-void deal. The referendum clearly legitimated Tispras’ approach to the Greek debt crisis, but it also widened the rift between Greece and its creditors and made future negotiations about a bailout or debt restructuring that much more difficult and complex. The conciliatory gesture of replacing the controversial Finance Minister Yannis Varoufakis with the softer spoken Euclid Tsakalotos was dismissed as too little too late by Greece’s creditors while drawing the ire of many Greeks among whom Varoufakis is a popular and celebrated hero.
After some futile attempts to reopen communication, calls for new proposals and failure – or refusal – to deliver such, Greece under the leadership of Tsipras is now facing what to all appearances is the final ultimatum: Deliver an acceptable proposal in time for the emergency summit of European leaders this Sunday – or else face the Grexit, the exit of Greece from the Eurozone.
As we find ourselves in the proverbial quiet before the storm, this is a good moment to take stock of some key developments and core themes that have emerged thus far and to offer commentary and clarification about some of the narratives that are circulating about the Greek crisis.