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  • 1 Charles University, Prague, Czechia
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This article concerns the changing conditions of fiscal sovereignty within the Eurozone in the context of the evolution of the EU's institutional crisis-management framework during the recent financial crisis. It begins with a method-of-difference approach to compare the dynamics and outcomes of the crisis in the Greek and Hungarian economies, on the basis of their similarly troubled fiscal positions and domestic political environments. On this basis, an argument is made that the outcomes in Greece (i.e. a breakdown in national fiscal sovereignty and severe economic losses) were not an inevitable product of the economic fundamentals, but at least partially attributable to uncertainty about the extent and expedience of financial assistance through the Eurozone's crises management institutions. The European Central Bank's (ECB) 2012 declaration of “unlimited support” for Eurozone governments has done much to calm markets, but has also created an institution with an ambiguous and self-imposed “dual-mandate”. This article concludes that the precedent established by the last crisis has created a fraught situation, leaving the Eurozone without viable options that are both economically efficacious and politically legitimate. Relying on either the ECB or the European Stability Mechanism to manage any future crisis could well provoke a backlash among the Eurozone member states as national fiscal sovereignty is eclipsed by ever-deeper ad hoc financial commitments on the part of the institutions of crisis management.

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