sábado, 17 de maio de 2014
The visionary ideal of an ever closer union ultimately leading to a true European Union remains as far-fetched as ever since current woes began triggered by the financial meltdown.
While apparently the sovereign debt crisis is headed for closure where it manifested harshest, there are far more questions than answers as to the future contours of a mutually advantageous monetary union.
The Eurozone comprises 18 economies whose differences are relevant not least amongst the big 3: Germany, France and Italy - for the incoming European Commission and Parliament to take very serious note of.
And eventually adopt a new approach to the entire European edifice.
On every ground one can think of it is unacceptable to tie countries down indefinitely, leaving them to fend for themselves and yet share a single currency. A currency that objectively does not bring gains to their respective economies.
With so many formerly readily available monetary policy tools having been removed there is no leeway left in these countries to manage their own economic cycles.
Portugal is a good case in point. The country officially exits the bailout programme today without any cautionary safety net. There are reasons to rejoice at progress made restoring external balances, reducing the size of the State, sharpening the export sector and, perhaps, making the surviving economy leaner. These gains were achieved, inevitably to a degree, at an overwhelming social cost.
For Democracy's sake it is up to politics at national and European level to do 'whatever it takes' to mend societies hit hardest.
This needs to be done concurrently with every action taken to ensure that the ECB saved Euro works to the benefit of all countries sharing it, if not equally at least tangibly to most citizens.
Prolonged economic stagnation wherever is not an option by any seasoned yardstick.
sábado, 10 de maio de 2014
domingo, 4 de maio de 2014
This is good news indeed crowning three long years of blood, sweat and tears for too large a number of people.
Of course the adjustment programme - as was implemented - had its effects felt unevenly across the board.
Yet again, those hit hardest by the draconian austerity drive were those who could least afford to on far too many instances.
It might be said that such is the logic of the system when countries/States have no money left in the kitty.
The punishing contours of invited rescuer-creditors are blind and oblivious to any existing social matters or public policies to tackle them.
Portugal's leadership should know better by now. Hopefully.
It won't take long before citizens find out if they - government and opposition - have learned anything at all.
About the country's fundamentals, excessive reliance on external finance and the huge burden of existing debt.
All capped by the Eurozone's straitjacket.
Despite many flaws in the European Monetary Union and the missing blocks of EU institutions and politics, it still rests with national governments to take good care of respective countries.
To take on internal vested interests permanently, engage with civil society and govern for the common man in the street.
Or has Democracy's original worth been entirely and irreversibly hollowed out?
Throughout the tough three-year period the government's primary concern was clearly to please the trio of creditors. Perhaps understandably to a degree.
It is yet to be seen whether a welcome shift of focus will set in from May 17 that does not compromise main balances.
Balances that should never have swung so deeply into the red in the first place!