Years of austerity have left their mark on Europe: budget deficits have shrunk, reforms have been delayed, and the social costs of cuts are increasingly visible.
Fixing the Eurozone is like piecing together a complex jigsaw puzzle. We should not expect that a few politicians are best equipped to finish the job.
The true costs of austerity politics becomes evident in the “structural reforms” they engender. For decades to come, the European social model will be burdened with their legacy.
Neither is fiscal profligacy the reason for the Eurozone crisis, nor is austerity a cure that promises to heal the patient. The Greek elections have not solved the dilemma of the Eurozone.
The German story about Europe’s crisis is an illusion. Teutonic austerity has not helped to feed those who starve and struggle. Time to reconsider.
In Ireland’s referendum, fear has won out over anger. The “yes” vote in favor of the European fiscal treaty is not an endorsement of Merkel’s austerity politics, but a concession to the harsh reality of the Eurozone crisis: Only those who play along can expect help from Berlin and Brussels.