Thursday, October 10, 2013

United In Hunger

The leaders of the European non-union gave talks and wrote articles - after a single quarter of growth - to pretend that their completely failed austerity experiment was somehow a success. Schäuble and Barroso are clearly the main offenders; and Draghi, yesterday felt the need to join the chorus.

Draghi said yesterday at Harvard University:

Many commentators on this side of the Atlantic looked at the euro area and were convinced it would fail. They mistook the euro for fixed exchange-rate regime, when in fact it is an irreversible single currency. It is irreversible because it is born out of the commitment of European nations to closer integration.
Well, there's everything wrong with that. Merkel is not a fan of closer integration, she wants competences to be moved back to the executive of the countries. She is not alone in her fight against the EU institutions. Britain and the Netherlands also want less EU. Merkel will win this fight without question; the Commission is already retreating before it even has begun. The only reason why the euro hasn't failed yet is that the peoples suffer in silence. Nothing good has come out of austerity; and the troika brought mass unemployment to the program countries and damaged the social safety-net everywhere they could.

Not only that, the austerity which the fools claimed would increase investment has also damaged the production industry all over Europe. The worst part of course is the suffering they purposefully inflicted on the poor. Today the Red Cross gave their own assessment of the humanitarian aspect. IFRC Secretary General Bekele Geleta said:
Europe is facing its worst humanitarian crisis in six decades.
This is how good our leadership really is. Nobody has been able to cause more harm to Europe with the exception of Hitler. Not only that this is not a short term problem anymore. The damage they have done will be with us for decades, according to the Red Cross (pdf):

The long term consequences of this crisis have yet to surface. This report shows that the problems caused will be felt for decades even if the economy turns for the better in the near future.
Sadly, they are correct. The Red Cross are the ones who with these two sentences show more economic competence than all of the IMF, ECB and EC combined.

Even if Greece, for example, grew at an annual rate of 5 percent then the country would be back to where it was in 2007 by 2018. A more realistic 3.5 percent growth scenario would mean that Greece wouldn't make it back to 2007 levels before the next decade. 

So just how bad is the humanitarian situation in Europe, according to the Red Cross? 

  • The number of European Red Cross organisations giving out food aid has increased from 18 to 22 from 2009 to 2012.
  • Overall food aid had to be increased by 75 percent during that time.
  •  In Spain the food aid distributions went up 133 percent
  • More than half of the Greek unemployed no longer have health insurance. (just a reminder over 27 percent are unemployed)
  • Suicide rates in Greece have gone up 40 percent from 2010 to 2011
So, no it is not just some economic numbers that look bad. The Troika has brought suffering to the program countries with no upside. Austerity even as expected failed to get the debt under control, caused economic and social pain without gain; but all this does not matter to the defenders of austerity, since we have seen a single quarter of growth.

Yes the euro has not failed yet, but that is not due to good work by the parties involved or a will to come closer together. The countries are scared to be the first to leave. It is very similar to using the nuclear option. Nobody wants use it but in the end somebody will and the house of cards will fall. Europe hasn't been as divided as it is now since Adenauer and de Gaulle became friends. The people who live under this third-worldification regime are the ones that have really allowed the euro to survive; perhaps now it is time to stop stepping on them and actually switch to a policy which makes Europe better and helps the people and not a small minority of bankers.

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