The only periods in Greece, since the crisis erupted, when the recession eased were periods of governments either too weak or, as in the case of the first Syriza government in which I served as finance minister, too unwilling to comply with the troika’s demands. Similarly in other eurozone member-states: political paralysis proved a godsend! During the euro crisis’ worst days, Belgium had the strongest growth in Europe because – rather than in spite – of repeated failures to form a ‘proper’ government: the lack of a parliamentary majority meant that no government could implement the self-defeating austerity that slashed incomes in member-states featuring ‘proper’ governments. Spain’s economy, too, has paradoxically benefitted from not having had, since last December, a clear parliamentary majority for the contractionary policies demanded by Brussels.
History may repeat itself but never as quickly or as mindlessly as it does within Europe’s social democratic family. Spain’s socialists jettisoned Pedro Sánchez to allow Mariano Rajoy to form government as if in a bid to replicate the disappearing act of their Greek counterparts, the once formidable PASOK.
View original post 1,409 more words