Thursday, 8 May 2014

The Politics of Austerity and Public Policy Reform in the EU - A symposium edited by Dr Stella Ladi (Queen Mary University of London) and Dr Dimitris Tsarouhas (Bilkent University) in Political Studies Review

In the introductory article it is argued that the EU is at a critical juncture that will either trigger further political and economic unity or reinforce the voices that instead call for intergovernmental co-operation in place of formal union.  The spread of market pressure from Ireland, Greece and Portugal to Spain, Italy and Cyprus and also beyond has demonstrated that the sovereign debt crisis needs to be dealt with at the European and not just the national level.  Up to now the “politics of extreme austerity” has been the mainstream recipe promoted to and adopted by member states.  The measures are tougher in those countries where there has been external financial assistance from the EU and the IMF (i.e. Greece, Portugal and Ireland) but the rest of Europe is following suit (e.g. Italy and the UK). 

Friday, 2 May 2014

Professor Pedro Martins Interviewed on BBC Radio 4 Today Programme

Professor Pedro Martins, Professor of Applied Economics and lecturer on the Masters in Public Administration at Queen Mary, was interviewed on BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning.

Professor Martins‘ interview focused on the three-year economic and financial adjustment programme of Portugal, which is coming to its end next month. This programme involved a package of 78 billion euros, provided by the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, and a number of measures in terms of fiscal consolidation, financial system stability and structural reforms. 

Professor Martins argued that Portugal is likely to opt for a ‘clean exit’ from the current programme, implying no further financial support and no further conditionality, given the increasing confidence of financial markets in terms of the outlook for the Portuguese economy. Professor Martins also explained that, in his perspective, this likely successful exit – following the footsteps of the Irish Case - implies that the combination of structural reforms and austerity measures can deliver good results in terms of putting an end to the Eurozone crisis.  

Listen to the interview herethe interview takes place at 02:48:33 (available for 7 days). 

An economist by training, Pedro Martins served as employment minister in the Government of Portugal from 2011 to 2013. He joined Queen Mary in 2004, becoming a Professor in 2009, and is the Module Leader for ‘Economics of the Public Sector’ on the MPA.