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Europe burning

Metaphorically. Or abstractly, anyway.

There's all this news about Greece's debt crisis and Syriza apparently capitulating to the austerians[1], which is pretty depressing. But, as a reminder, Greece's GDP is 20% below peak. Unemployment is nearly 26%, and 60% for youth. While the EU fiddles over debt, the economy is burning -- human capital, the basis of developed economies, is atrophying. Or leaving. No one has a plausible proposal for fixing this on the euro, which has become basically a gold standard for eurozone countries, with all the problems thereof. AFAICT, hardly anyone is even talking about it as a problem.

And Spain, with 4x the population, is nearly as badly off, with unemployment over 22%. They're making their interest payments though, so no one cares. And we may hear even less from them thanks to a new gag law on political dissent. As a Spaniard I know tells us, Franco simply died, Spain didn't really purge the fascist influences from itself.

Still has a ways to go to catch up to Hungary though, which last I heard had gone pretty much full fascist, with a constitutional hardball coup d'etat.

In the UK, the Lib Dem collapse and plurality voting allowed the Tories to get a solid seat majority, even with hardly any more votes (just as the Tories did in Canada, with the Liberal collapse -- same vote percentage even, about 40), and Osborne's using that to double down on more austerity -- big welfare cuts -- without even the excuse of kowtowing to external creditors.

I don't have as many details, but the Nordics I know seem to think they've been swept by neo-liberal if not anti-immigrant parties, and that the Scandinavian welfare state is in deep danger.

[1] Coinage of 'austerity' and 'Austrian', as in school of economics. Expansionary austeriy has pretty much no support from economists, and is as intellectually respectable as Creationism, anti-vaxxer thought, and global warming denial, but clung to by many European leaders.

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jul. 10th, 2015 11:01 pm (UTC)
allowed the Tories to get a solid seat majority

Not to mention the Fixed Term Parliaments Act which was passed early during the last coalition government, that in practice, makes it extremely difficult for no confidence motions to produce snap elections any more.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


Damien Sullivan

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