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Commentary :: International
Alternative for the Euro Zone
14 Dec 2011
In a new study, leftist economists from a dozen EU countries criticize the policy of the German government in the Euro crisis. Its analysis and the proposed solutions are wrong. Bailing out the big banks in the fall of 2008, the 2009 collapse of economic output and the enormous decline in tax revenues tore deep holes in the budget. The state deficits are not the cause.
ALTERNATIVE FOR THE EUROZONE

Leftist economists demand more democracy and more solidarity in the EU

Economists demand a changed course at the eve of the EU summit. The Eurozone must end the social cuts. Otherwise recession and deflation threaten.

By neues deutschland

[This article published 12/8/2011 is translated from the German on the Internet, http://www.neues-deutschland.de. The inflexible social cuts trigger protests in many places in Europe.]

In a new study, leftist economists from a dozen EU countries criticize the policy of the German government in the Euro crisis. The German government's analysis and proposed solutions are wrong. "This crisis was not caused by state deficits," the economists write in their "2012 Euro Memorandum" and warn against austerity programs and social cuts. The economy in the Euro states will be endangered. Deflation threatens. Europe is now "at a crossroads." The 42-page "Euro Memorandum" was published on December 8, 2011 on the Internet and is supported by more than 300 economists.

German chancellor Angela Merkel wanted to establish sharper budget rules and automatic sanctions for deficit sinners. "She relies completely on fiscal discipline," Professor Trevor Evans, one of the authors of the Euro-memorandum, told "nd." Rigorous budget rules pass by the real problems. Up to the 2007/8 financial crisis, most European states had only very small deficits or no deficits. Bailing out the big banks in the fall of 2008, the 2009 collapse of economic output and the enormous decline in tax revenues tore deep holes in the budget. "The state deficits are not the cause of the crisis. Rather the financial crisis caused the state deficit," Evans declared.

The flawed Merkel analysis is "very dangerous," Evans said, because it leads to false conclusions. An "austerity policy" with harsh savings programs and rigid debt reduction would strangle mass consumption and commercial demand and could flow into a recession. The "programs of social cuts" in many countries are dangerous. This week Ireland cut its social spending again and raised the value-added tax. With a large majority, the Greek parliament passed its austerity budget for 2012.

The Eurozone has reached a "new and dangerous phase," the memorandum economists warn. An "authoritarian solution under the control of Germany and France threatens with the Merkel government setting the key incentives. The alternatives are more democracy and more solidarity in the EU. The governments must "promote economic growth instead of austerity." That was the demand directed at the EU summit. To that end, a frugal budgetary policy is needed with greater tax revenues from high incomes and financial businesses. Eurobonds could relieve weaker countries from high interests and revive the economy.

RELATED LINKS

"2012 Euro Memorandum," December 8, 2012, 42 pages pdf
http://www2.euromemorandum.eu/uploads/euromemorandum_2012.pdf

Controlling the financial markets
link to www.rosalux.de
Controlling the financial markets instead of crushing the population of debtor nations
Ten arguments for dealing with the European financial crisis. Scientific advisory board of Attac.

Reason and intention: A distress call
The financial crisis is the escalation of the «financial instabilities» that are unavoidable in capitalist societies. To avoid financial losses for the financial institutions, since politicians are afraid of not being able to deal with the consequences («too big to fail»), gigantic bailout packages are hammered
out, to be paid by the European taxpayers. The always just short-term stabilization of the financial markets is carried out through a frontal attack on incomes and jobs, social comforts and public goods, as well as the people's democratic participation rights. To rescue the financial institutions, the destruction of the social cohesion, the loss of income and jobs and the impoverishment of broad levels of the population on the richest continent on earth is deliberately accepted, the future prospects of a whole generation, their hopes and expectations are destroyed.
We cannot put up with this blind destruction carried out by the saviors of the financial system. Neither in Greece today, nor in Portugal, Ireland, Italy or Spain tomorrow, or in France and Germany the day after tomorrow. The disembedded and unleashed financial markets and their players have to be civilized, controlled and strictly regulated. Elected governments buckle before rating agencies that are not legitimized by anybody -except by those governments themselves. The European Union, the European Central Bank, the IMF and the governments only have one item on their agendas: the reestablishment of the debt service capacity of the heavily indebted countries by means of a blood and tears austerity. The people in the debtor countries have to pay for the breakdown of the markets. They have to pay for the liberalization and deregulation that was conducted over the last 30 years all over the world. Private losses are compensated by public coffers, in Germany as well as in the USA, in Iceland or in Greece. To this end, loans are taken out at those financial institutions that have just been saved and whom thus are guaranteed secure profits.
The scientific advisory board of Attac was founded in 2001 and is an association of more than 100 professors, scientists and experts, representing a broad spectrum of different disciplines. The economists, sociologists, political scientists, jurists, psychologists and experts from other professions intend to allocate their expertise to the anti-globalization network Attac Germany. The members of the scientific advisory board generally agree upon their critical perception of the current course of globalization. This doesn't exclude pluralism in the methods, goals and conclusions or differing positions. The scientific advisory board does not consider itself part of the anti-globalization network Attac Germany, but an independent panel with own assessments and opinions.
As a consequence, public debt exploded, causing the euro crisis. This currency crisis cannot be overcome by ever new rescue packages in favor of banks, funds and large estates, the bill being borne by the general public in terms of cutback packages. These measures only weaken economic activity, as can be observed in Greece. The financial markets have to be controlled again. The burden of debt has to be bearable. Therefore a transparently and fairly negotiated and perceived part of the creditor's claims and the debt have to be canceled. Financial transactions, which were dissociated from the real economy in the frenzy of speculation, have to be taxed, just as large estates and high incomes.
Even conservative politicians deplore that the European integration project is threatened. The European societies are collapsing, one after the other is thrown into chaos by the failing financial markets. Some of the biggest speculators realized that they have gone too far. Now the political class is called upon to stop the destructive dynamic of the financial crisis by political measures that won't worsen the situation. This is a distress call. Greece cannot «economize» any more or squeeze a higher debt service capacity out of the population without forsaking itself. Thus the «emergency exit» has to be on the financial market's side. The markets and their supporters have failed to obstruct this exit so far. The only feasible action is to cut the debt and to reduce the creditor's claims.
[... ]
The scientific advisory board of Attac was founded in 2001 and is an association of more than 100 professors, scientists and experts, representing a broad spectrum of different disciplines. The economists, sociologists, political scientists, jurists, psychologists and experts from other professions intend to allocate their expertise to the anti-globalization network Attac Germany. The members of the scientific advisory board generally agree upon their critical perception of the current course of globalization. This doesn't exclude pluralism in the methods, goals and conclusions or differing positions. The scientific advisory board does not consider itself part of the anti-globalization network Attac Germany, but an independent panel with own assessments and opinions.


Lessons of the 1930s: The Economist, December 2011

http://www.economist.com/node/21541388


Euromess: The View from Germany, Nick Baumann, Mother Jones, December 12. 2011

http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/12/euromess-view-germany



"Towards a Wage-Led Recovery," Andrew Jackson, December 2011, 110 pages
link to www.ilo.org


"Enough is Enough" by Herman Daly and others
http://steadystate.org/wp-content/uploads/EnoughIsEnough_FullReport.pdf
http://steadystate.org/wp-content/uploads/EnoughIsEnough_Summary.pdf


"Free Culture" by Lawrence Lessig
http://www.feedbooks.com/book/2750.pdf
http://www.free-culture.cc/freeculture.pdf


"Free: The Future of a Radical Price" by Chris Anderson
http://www.wired.com/techbiz/it/magazine/17-07/mf_freer


"Needs and Limits" by Frank Rotering
http://www3.telus.net/needsandlimits/pdf_files/needs_and_limits-3rd_edit


"Culture Change" by Alexis Zeigler
http://conev.org/ren14x.pdf

http://www.progressive-economics.ca
http://www.stiglitz-sen-fitoussi.fr/en/index.htm

homepage: http://www.progressive-economics.ca
address: http://www.buzzflash.com
See also:
http://www.progressive-economics.ca
http://www.freembtranslations.com
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