Professor: European finances uncertain


Goran Skosples has an optimistic, but uncertain, view of the ongoing economic crisis in Europe.

A associate professor of economics at Ohio Wesleyan University, Skosples is a native of Croatia.

He paid particular attention to those ways in which international political economy, the Euro and migration have contributed to some of the region’s most pressing issues. Skosples was the first speaker in the annual Great Decisions lecture series Friday at the William Street United Methodist Church.

Skosples alluded to the sovereign debt crisis on several occasions.

He made it clear that the debt crisis is responsible for creating sovereign, localized crises that then led to the larger, international crisis. Greece, a European Union member, is one place where failed monetary policy had a crippling effect. It then had an impact on other member nations sharing similar currency.

Despite those failures, Skosples told the audience that this currency consolidation was intended to improve relations across Europe.

“It has brought a lot of positives … the idea was that the creation of the Euro was going to lead to prosperity through gains from trading which would then lead to greater European solidarity and the next steps in integration,” Skosples said.

Integration, however, seems elusive, as major European powers inspired by populist movements within their borders are questioning their commitment to that ideal.

This change in attitude has created a lot questions that have yet to be answered.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty in Europe,” he said. “We don’t know what’s going to happen with ‘Brexit’ … and the problem is that when you’ve been so deeply integrated how do you just pull out?”

The reality is we don’t know right now, according to Skosples.

Jim Klepcyk, a retired pharmacist from Powell, spoke highly of the talk.

“I thought it was excellent. He offered a lot of insight and having that international perspective has clearly helped him understand those realities,” Klepcyk said.

Skosples took questions from the audience, including from retired Maj. General Dennis Laich, who will speak about nuclear security at the next Great Decision talk at noon Friday, Feb. 24.

By Evan Walsh

Special to The Gazette

Walsh is a student at Ohio Wesleyan University.

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