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Hanser 2017

"Der Odysseus-Komplex" (The Odysseus Complex) by Johannes Becker and Clemens Fuest

Image "Der Odysseus-Komplex" (The Odysseus Complex) by Johannes Becker and Clemens Fuest

What does the euro have to do with Greek mythology? It is quite simple: just as Odysseus faced the luring songs of the sirens, so EU member states need to resist the temptation of fresh borrowing, postponing reforms and lax regulations. Unlike Odysseus, however, sovereign states only have limited options in terms of tying themselves to the mast. Ifo President Clemens Fuest and public finance expert and Ifo research professor Johannes Becker (University of Münster) develop a plan to reform the Eurozone. They propose a path that increases member states’ responsibility for sound state finances and effective economic policy, does not overstretch their willingness to transfer competences to a European level and lets private creditors accept liability for the costs of restructuring over-indebted states without risking the destabilisation of the financial markets. This will make the currency union less prone to crisis and will mitigate conflicts between member states.

Publication date: 20.02.2017


Image Authors

Johannes Becker, born in 1977 in Münster, is Director of the Institut für Finanzwissenschaft at the University of Münster. He was previously a research fellow at the University of Oxford and at the Max-Planck Institute in Munich. According to the German daily newspaper “Handelsblatt”, he is one of the top economists aged under 40 in German-speaking countries.




Clemens Fuest, born 1968 in Münster, has been President of the Ifo Institute since April 2016. He was Chairman of the German Federal Ministry of Finance and Energy Affairs’ Scientific Advisory Council from 2007 to 2010 and President of the renowned Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung (ZEW) in Mannheim from 2011 to 2016. In the ranking of Germany’s most important economists by the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” Fuest ranked third.


Details about the book

Der Odysseus-Komplex.
Ein pragmatischer Vorschlag zur Lösung der Eurokrise. 

(The Odysseus Complex. 
A pragmatic approach to resolving the euro crisis.) 

by Johannes Becker and Clemens Fuest

Publication date: 20.02.2017
288 pages
Hanser Verlag
Hardback: ISBN 978-3-446-25461-9
Price: € 24.00 [D] I € 24.70 [A]
ePUB format: ISBN 978-3-446-25617-0


Unfähig zur Selbstbindung
Press article by Clemens Fuest and Johannes Becker, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 11.03.2017, p. 26. Details

Profitiert Deutschland wirklich vom Euro?
Press article by Clemens Fuest and Johannes Becker, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, 12.02.2017, p. 24. Details


  1. „Das Hilfsprogramm war eine einzige Irreführung“
    Interview mit Clemens Fuest, Spiegel Online, 20.02.2017. Details

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