Wednesday, November 14, 2012
The Beginning of the End for Austerity?
No sooner did François Hollande forthrightly embrace austerity as the policy of his administration than hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in dozens of cities across Europe, primarily in the southern tier but also in Belgium and France. The magnitude of the protests, the violence that broke out around the edges of demonstrations in many countries, and the sheer visibility of the pain that austerity has inflicted suggest that things may not hold together much longer. What is more, the likelihood of a Greek default, not in spite of but because of austerity, which has actually decreased Greek GDP and increased debt, only exacerbates the situation. Is a disorderly end to the euro in store. Once again, the possibility seems real, as does the prospect of major political upheaval.