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  • Author: Daniel V. Speckhard
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: After serving for two challenging years in the chaos of a war zone as the Deputy Chief of Mission in Iraq, I received word that I would become the next Ambassador to Greece. To be quite honest, I had mixed feelings. I looked forward to the challenge, but I imagined the post would be too sedate compared with the adrenalin-charged days and world-shaping events in Iraq. It was anything but. Within a year of my arrival, the streets were aflame with violent protests over a police shooting of a teenager. A year later, snap elections brought a socialist government to power. And soon thereafter, the onion was further peeled to expose a financial crisis and a crumbling economic foundation built on a corrupt, oligarchic, and debt-addicted system fed by billions of dollars of public and private EU loans and grants.
  • Topic: Corruption, Economics, Politics, Financial Crisis, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece
  • Author: Donald Blinken
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: As Greece works out of financial crisis, it should look to Hungary fifteen years ago for part of the answer. Far too large a segment of the Greek economy remains locked up in public hands. Their sale to the private sector, as Hungarians discovered, while not a panacea, will help reduce catastrophic public debts, and salaries and pensions will become the responsibility of private owners rather than the government. The Greek Parliament's austerity plan would raise 70 billion euros from privatization by 2015. The government will sell stakes in banking, airports, water utilities, motorway concessions, port operations, state land, and mining rights. Selling assets to the private sector will also improve managerial know-how, increase transparency, and encourage confidence in a Greek recovery.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Greece
  • Author: Johan Berggren
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Europe is beset by economic and financial risks: uneven and in many cases slow growth, high unemployment, weak public finances, jittery financial markets, and popular dissatisfaction with consolidation schemes. The sovereign debt crisis afflicting several southern and peripheral Euro-economies exemplifies Europe's current travails.
  • Topic: Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Sweden
  • Author: Hans Blix, William J. vanden Heuvel
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Today, people throughout the world are experiencing the most severe set of global crises since the United Nations was formed over 60 years ago. They include financial, economic and environmental crises as well as crises of scarcity—of food, fuel and water.
  • Topic: Climate Change, United Nations, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States