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EU’s Main Issues Remain Unsolved

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By Anastasia Barysheva and Polina Chernitsa

Spain’s government has approved the 2013 budget, which envisages cutting budget deficit by 50 billion euros. At the same time the authorities have made some concessions to the population following numerous mass protests. On Friday, markets responded positively on the news from Madrid but experts still warn against unnecessary optimism.

On Thursday, presenting the budget the Spanish government said that 2013 would be the last year of recession. Both experts and investors were waiting for this statement because Spain is the second country after Greece which is now going through the serious economic crisis. The planned budget cuts worth 50 billion euros meet the demands of the European regulators. The government of Mariano Rajoy also announced the creation of an “independent budget governing body”.

Eurozone
Eurozone

It is interesting that right centrists decided not to cut pensions and state subsidies and even announced plans to slightly increase them. The government does not plan to up taxes either although earlier it discussed it as a necessary measure for the budget consolidation. Perhaps, the government made such concessions to the citizens after numerous protests campaigns. In the beginning of the week enraged protesters were about to take parliament’s building by storm. Meanwhile the Spanish authorities are yet to address deep structural problems, economist Igor Nikolayev says.

“The current measures, especially such inconsistent ones, cannot reverse the growing crisis trends. On the one hand they are increasing social payments on the other hand they are trying to save money. The main issue is the search for money to patch another hole. Until the European government, not only of the troubled countries, pay attention to what is going on in the real economy, there will be no positive changes with the employment and labor productivity. It is enough to take a look at the current unemployment rate.”

Currently in Spain every fourth citizen may is unemployed, which is the worst indicator over the last decades. In France the number of unemployed has exceeded 3 million people, which is the historical maximum of the 1998 crisis. Francois Hollande’s loud statements that under the Socialists the country will feel the real changes still sound more like a bad joke. When he came to power the new French leader promised to put an end to the policy of radical cost cuts but since then nothing has been done expect for populist moves and the second economy of the UE is likely to face the recession.

By the way, Standard & Poor’s has already announced the beginning of the recession all over the euro-zone. In an interview with the “Voice of Russia”, director of the French School of Social Sciences Jacques Sapir said that he did not believe that the euro-zone would manage to keep its current form.

“As for the future of the euro-zone I am pessimist because it will be very difficult for its current line up to go through the coming winter, let alone 2013. It does not meet that the EU will die. The commonwealth will go through the period of reforms and continue the development. The main question is how to develop the economy. If we continue to carry out the policy of cost reduction it will definitely lead to long term recession for 4-6 years. The political weight of the EU on the international arena will decrease which in its turn will lead to numerous crises within the EU.”

The European authorities continue to look for the way out of the crisis using monetary methods: cutting state costs, providing loans and restructuring debts. Greece, which budget problems triggered the euro-zone crisis has been living on such “artificial nutrition” for several years. During this period there have been constant speculations about Greece’s possible withdrawal from the currency union as well as about the coming domino effect which affect other troubled countries – Spain, Italy, Portugal and their main creditors Germany and France. The EU leaders are continuing to hold summits on rescuing the euro-zone. The next summit will be held in early October. But so far there has been no success in solving the deep structural problems of the euro-zone.

VOR

VOR

VOR, or the Voice of Russia, was the Russian government's international radio broadcasting service from 1993 until 2014, when it was reorganised as Radio Sputnik.

2 thoughts on “EU’s Main Issues Remain Unsolved

  • Avatar
    September 30, 2012 at 11:47 am
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    It seems to me that the response to the current eurozone crisis by the so-called Troika (the ECU, the ECB and the IMF), has been largely providing loans conditioned on austerity measures – the so-called “kicking the can down the road”; instead of restructuring the debt or writing it off, allowing Greece to default and exit the Euro. Some form of loan default, write-off and/or exit from the Euro, is absolutely necessary, along with a feasible plan for growth, in order to avoid popular uprising from both the right and the left, the 99%. Massive goverment spending, as a percent of GDP, as done during WWII, must be undertaken, to avoid those pitfalls, not scene, since the Great Depression.

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  • Avatar
    September 30, 2012 at 3:03 pm
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    The EU has several major problems, any one of which could derail it and set the stage for major powers to be at one and others’ throats as it was for 200 years before the idea of the EEC took hold.

    Firstly: The division/sharing of power and responsibility between the “Centrale” and the individual states. Trade and commerce is a central responsibility and this ought to include immigration (including that between member states), visa, and currency matters.
    The current “Schengen borders with some members excluded and NON members included is absurd and needs to swiftly become history. Permission for a citizen of one country to live in another to be at the pleasure of ONLY the Centrale.

    Secondly; The absurdity of a ‘one state veto’ over any changes to structure must go. Only new member entries ought to be subject to the one state veto. For other matters of (constitutional type) change something like 3/4s of the states with 60% of the population is in order.

    Thirdly: The EU needs to acknowledge a need to put on hold ALL new member aspirations; this from the point of “Europe” NOT being ready as well as whatever might be lacking in the applicant’s C-V. I.e. most problems of today require more than memberships alone can solve. Those of the former Soviet satellites were not so resolved. Only value producing labour coupled with real frugality (not phoney austerity to bailout banking swindlers) will produce the desired results.
    Fourthly; One and ONLY one currency to be used BETWEEN member states transactions. If individual states want their own INTERNAL currency that is not a problem but Britain, Poland Czechia, and Hungary MUST trade in EUROS BETWEEN them,. No Lbs, Zloties, Koruna or Florint allowed.

    Perhaps a target date of 01.01.2020 to achieve these objectives might be realistic.

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