Sat Nov 17, 2012, 06:33 AM
xchrom (108,893 posts)
New Studies: Austerity Is Crushing, Not Saving, Europe
A riot policeman in Greece attacks a protester during an anti-austerity rally in Athens. (Credit: PIAZZA del POPOLO/CC-BY-2.0)
BERLIN - The austerity programmes being rolled out in virtually every member state of the European Union (EU) – particularly in Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy – have failed to reach their stated objective of consolidating public finances in order to solve sovereign debt crises.
Instead, these programmes – which entail massive public spending cuts in sectors such as education, health and governance – are “leading to collective folly” and even to “a social breakdown” across the continent, according to numerous economic experts.
Far from solving the debt crisis, as promised, the current fiscal consolidation plans will result in higher debt-GDP ratios in the EU in 2013, according to recent research.
Several reports have now confirmed what economists and activists warned months and even years ago: that the economic crisis, triggered by the financial collapse of 2007-2008 and the subsequent state-sponsored bailout of banks and investment funds, has resulted in higher unemployment and poverty rates in every country.
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