James Galbraith: Greece is caught in a terrible trap of disastrous policies

Greeks should examine by themselves what they will do with the euro and with Europe, said noted US economist James Kenneth Galbraith, professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and at Texas University and member of the executive committee of the World Economics Association.

“Greece is caught in a terrible trap of disastrous policies that have nothing to do with the establishment of a more powerful economy or a better life for the Greeks. The issue is if a rift with Europe would make things better and this is a matter that the Greeks should examine by themselves” said Galbraith in an interview with Athens Macedonian News Agency.

Asked if US President Donald Trump represents a new political-economical example Professor Galbraith said “The government is a blend of reactionary ideologists, people from big businesses that do not have any governing experience and of military officers. Trump himself expresses a bit of everything. If they have something in common is the general rejection of the authority of professionals with titles and among them the lawyers, the scientists and particularly the economists. In one word it is an uprising of all those that Milovan Djilas has called “The new class”. Personally, I have taken distances from the participation in the professionally high class because the distinction of this class from the working class’ interest is too much for me. However, this turn of the working class voters to the leadership of the reactionary ideologists is a tragedy”.

Asked on Donald Trump’s position before Europe, the US economist said that US president’s contempt for Europe is crystal clear. Europe needs to see which its own independent interests are. My views remain linked with the DiEM25 movement. The best for Europe would be to develop democratic and liable institutions at European level along with a comprehensive change in the economic policy. I know that this is a very ambitious goal, maybe impossible, but the alternative of a general dissolution does not seem very attractive to me.

Finally, asked on the future of the dollar of the euro and other possible alternatives as world reserve, Professor Galbraith estimated “For the time being I believe that exists the principle of Count Otto Von Bismarck ‘God has special prudence for fools, drunks and the United States of America’. So for the near future the dollar will remain where it is. Europe’s policies will decide for the euro’s fate”.