A critical guide to the Euro Zone Crisis by Corporate Watch, written by Christina Laskaridis
06.02.2015 / www.corporatewatch.org, 23.01.2015
Key Messages Based on myths and false dilemmas, the mainstream narrative around the crisis still dominates discussion. Breaking away from this, this guide shows that:
- The process of European integration facilitated a transfer of wealth and power from poor to rich countries through debt instruments and trade relations. Economic imbalances between countries were widened due to the euro area structure and the response to the crisis.
- Private sector debts were nationalised creating huge problems for public finances; yet myths were spun to justify a ‘solution’ that involved ever increasing amounts of sovereign debt whilst imposing widespread unemployment and dramatic reductions in living standards.
- A step towards social and economic justice would be for these debts to be cancelled and those responsible both nationally and internationally to bear the burden of cancellation. This guide compiles arguments and evidence to challenge debt repayment.
- While banks and other financial institutions are responsible for countries’ indebtedness and have helped create the crisis, at the same time they have profiteered from it in numerous ways, such as betting against countries’ default, and then benefiting from the latter’s bailouts.
- Future profitability is ensured by reorganising the institutional landscape to promote private corporate business opportunities. This report shows who is profiting from the crisis and reveals how and why grassroots mobilisations are rising up against the European establishment. This guide argues for opposition to the EU that is not based on discrimination or prejudice, to reclaim the space that has so far been dominated by far right movements.
- The crisis has cast aside any pretence of democracy; the kind of changes instituted are only possible with broad, general use of force, violence and appeals to nationalism and xenophobia. The guide documents the far reaching impacts of austerity politics and presents the main social, economic and political arguments to counter it.