August 2011, Week 4


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Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>
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Wed, 24 Aug 2011 22:01:45 -0400
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Selective Austerity

By Gene Zbikowski 
August 23, 2011


    The Socialist Party hails a "government of the euro," 
    the Left Front attacks a policy of privatizations.

One good point and one regret: "The economic government
(of the euro zone) is a good thing. We are backers of
it," explained former minister of the economy Laurent
Fabius with regard to one of the announcements made
after the Merkel-Sarkozy meeting.

A regret, shared by Arnaud Montebourg and others: the
rejection of eurobonds, a form of mutualization of
sovereign debt. The rejection does not permit
governments to free themselves from the financial

"I still have not heard anything about regulating the
financial system. I still have not heard anything about
growth and employment. So, this is very disappointing,"
was the criticism made by Martine Aubry, while Francois
Hollande felt that Nicolas Sarkozy had made "a small
step towards economic governance of the euro zone,"
tempered by "a big step backwards" in abandoning

"In France, the brainwashing has already begun," said
Pierre Laurent, national secretary of the French
Communist Party and president of the European Party of
the Left. "They have to prepare public opinion for
austerity (and simultaneously) kill the economy with
policies that negate any prospect of growth." For the
French Communist Party, there are two priorities to get
out of the dead-end: "Disarm the speculators and invest
in jobs and public services." And a means: "The
European central bank can make interest-free loans to
governments in difficulty and refinance the banks on
the basis of social and environmental criteria, so that
the money does not get used for speculation."

For Jean-Luc Melenchon, the Left Front candidate for
the 2012 presidential elections, "instead of concrete
measures to protect the peoples from the attacks of the
markets, Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel persist in
submitting to the demands of finance. For them, the
peoples are the only guilty party. The so-called
`golden rule' imposed on all European governments will
be soles of lead for our economies." What is being
called an austerity policy is, he said, in reality, "a
policy of privations.


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