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Europe’s Wake Up Call

Serge Halimi in Le Monde Diplomatique:

The economic, and democratic, crisis in Europe raises questions. Why were policies that were bound to fail adopted and applied with exceptional ferocity in Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Greece? Are those responsible for pursuing these policies mad, doubling the dose every time their medicine predictably fails to work? How is it that in a democratic system, the people forced to accept cuts and austerity simply replace one failed government with another just as dedicated to the same shock treatment? Is there any alternative? (….)

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(…) But indignation is powerless without some understanding of the mechanisms that caused it. We know the alternatives – reject the monetarist, deflationist policies that deepen the crisis, cancel part of the debt if not all of it, take over the banks, get finance under control, reverse globalisation and recover the hundreds of billions of euros the state has lost by tax cuts that favour the wealthy (?70bn in France in the past ten years, more than $1 trillion in the US, especially for the top 1% of income earners). And knowledge of these alternatives has been shared by people who know at least as much about economics as Trichet, but do not serve the same interests.

(lees het hele stuk op de website van LMD-English)