14 Dec '11, 1pm

EU deal: Permanent austerity, permanent stagnation | James Meadway

EU deal: Permanent austerity, permanent stagnation | James Meadway

It gives legal grounding to the mistaken presumption that what we are dealing with in Europe is a crisis of public debts driven by bad fiscal policy – a crisis of excessive government deficits, the result of profligacy. This is clueless, for reasons Martin Wolf detailed last week . Governments will be expected to aim for balanced budgets, with a 3 per cent of GDP absolute limit on deficits, beyond which penalties will be applied. But of those countries now worst hit by the debt crisis – Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Greece – all bar Greece had average deficits below the 3 per cent limit from the time of the euro’s creation in 1999, to 2007 when the crisis began to break. Germany and France both had worse average deficits over the same period. The 3 per cent criterion would have missed later problems.

Full article: http://www.neweconomics.org/blog/2011/12/14/eu-deal-perma...

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