The fiscal treaty was voted on in a referendum in Ireland on 31st May and was approved by a margin of 60% to 40% (with a turnout of barely 50% of eligible voters). To understand the significance of the treaty and the referendum result, it is necessary to understand the origins of the Irish and European debt crises.
The ruthless austerity programmes imposed on Greece and the endless cycle of debt renegotiations will only come to a close when Athens takes charge of its predicament and announces a democratic and sovereign cessation of payments.
2011 witnessed the implementation of some of the most comprehensive undemocratic structural changes in the EU since the Lisbon Treaty. Alternative proposals for a progressive exit from the euro crisis are laid out here.
The Celtic Tiger might just find its strength and appetite for action in the growth of left leaning electorates and local citizens initiatives. The tailspin of economy caused by austerity policies should be countered by a transparent debt audit.
Marica Frangakis, Nicos Poulantzas Institute, Athens
07 October 2011
Every story needs a narrative, an explanation of why things happened the way they did. In such a narrative lie the answers of how to avoid/correct similar developments in the future and how to propagate positive ones.
The language contained in agreements being negotiated by the EU through the WTO with their southern counterparts often deliberately diguises real political goals, obscuring the negative economic implications for those countries of the neoliberal agenda.
"The banks are ours!" Public money was used to bail out the banks, and now they are lending back to the public at interest, while governments ignore the social and environmental crises that confront society. It is time to demand real solutions that will work not only for the sake of the economy but for the lives and conditions of people on whom it depends.
Susan George appeared on the major French radio network France Inter to debate the financial crisis and regulation. Her most recent book "Their Crises, Our Solutions" has been published in French ("Leurs Crises, Nos Solutions"); the English version is due to be published in September.
Europe’s aggressive external market
access agenda, combined with its push internally for market reforms in the
interest of competitiveness, poses new threats to workers in the North and South and will need a transnational trade union response.