cuts It’s been almost a month since we first asked whether you believed the European economic crisis might finally be drawing to a close. The EU Commissioner for the Euro, Olli Rehn, was telling citizens at a townhall-style meeting in Estonia that he saw “green shoots” in the European economy (though he was quick to point out that they were still extremely fragile). Supporters of stringent austerity measures finally seemed vindicated; German Chancellor Angela Merkel was rewarded handsomely in her country’s elections last month and British Prime Minister David Cameron has had an exceedingly good summer (for a sitting Prime Minister in the midst of an economic crisis) on the back of better-than-expected UK growth figures.

And yet, not all is rosy in the garden of green shoots. The IMF has just revised down its global growth forecast for the sixth consecutive time, whilst unemployment in Europe remains at near-record levels and threatens a jobless recovery. Recent reports from Oxfam and the Red Cross argue that the impact of austerity on European society will prove devastating even if the economy begins to recover, whilst others point out that debt-levels in Europe have actually increased under austerity (though they have also increased in the US thanks to its policy of fiscal stimulus, to the extent that the current political deadlock over the debt-ceiling may unwittingly reignite the crisis).

It’s important to note that ‘austerity’ means different things to different people. Many policy-makers, whether of the left or the right, advocate some combination of fiscal consolidation (e.g. cuts and layoffs), structural reforms (e.g. cutting red tape, including making it easier to hire and fire) and investment (e.g. government spending). However, strictly speaking, only fiscal consolidation is really considered ‘austerity’ – and few would suggest it should be pursued in isolation.

There is therefore a great deal of disagreement at both the national and European level over the appropriate mix of budgetary rigour and fiscal easing. At a meeting with citizens in Hungary last week, László Andor, EU Commissioner for Employment, called for greater solidarity within the EU. Indeed, when we spoke to Commissioner Andor last year, he told us clearly that he believed it was “time to reconsider the fiscal consolidation policies as they have been implemented in the last two or three years.”

Last week, Debating Europe published the results of a major new Gallup poll conducted on our behalf. The poll of 6,177 respondents, selected proportionally to the population in each EU member state, found that a majority of Europeans now believe that the austerity policies pursued in Europe since the start of the crisis have failed and there are better alternatives available.

We asked the MEP Hannes Swoboda, leader of the  Social Democrats group in the European Parliament, to comment on the results of the poll. He argued that negative public opinion towards austerity is justified and a greater emphasis needs to be placed on investment.

We also asked for a reaction from Monica Frassoni, Co-Chair of the  Greens. She saw the poll results as a powerful stimulus for those campaigning for an end to austerity.

Finally, we asked Martin Callanan, leader of the  Conservatives, to give his reaction. Callanan warned against over-simplifying the debate around austerity into a simple choice between “cutting” and “spending”.

I think it’s a much more complicated debate than that. This idea that somehow we face a choice between on the one hand austerity and on the other hand growth, by which people mean more spending, is a false choice. As Angela Merkel has said, austerity means living within your means. The problem in Europe was too much spending and too much borrowing, and we won’t solve those problems by spending and borrowing even more.

The poll is worth reading in some detail as it shows some interesting results (including greater support for austerity in Ireland than Germany, and greater public tolerance for fiscal consolidation in Eastern Europe than Western Europe). However, what it also shows is that the public remains unconvinced by the argument that there are no alternatives to austerity in Europe. Whether policy-makers can turn this scepticism around will depend to a large extent on how durable those “green shoots” really are.

You can see some of the results from the poll in our infographic below (click for a higher-resolution image).


94 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think? Have the supporters of stringent austerity measures finally been vindicated? Or will the impact of austerity on European society prove devastating for decades to come, even if the economy begins to recover? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we'll take them to policy-makers and experts for their reactions.

  1. avatar
    George Danieldsg

    Austerity measures destroyed economy .Worked fine to destroy people and small and medium businessmen for the interests of bankers and market and economy vultures.

  2. avatar
    Xavier Schoumaker

    They did not work in the 1920s, they made things worst.
    Only if you have a right-wing agenda you will feel compelled to back them up as they slowed down any possibility for growth.
    Good governance, transparency, participative democracy, effective use of communication technology would make a government more effective & justifiable – but that’s not what austerity is there for – it is there to completely bankrupt governments (further than already done by lack of public spending oversight).

    The wealthy want to be unregulated and we’re suppose to trust shareholder-minded new leaders & their interests instead of making sure our interests are backed in the democratic process. Goldman Sachs, the state of the Gulf of Mexico & the financial crisis should teach us about “unregulated consequences”…

    Austerity is a coup against intelligence & democratic values, nothing more than sand in the eyes to make the discussion divisive whilst making matters worse for everyone.

    • avatar

      Left winger borrowed money for decades and spent it on their voters, now the bill is coming due they don’t want to pay for it, but want others to pay for it.

  3. avatar
    Cris Hova

    Austerity measures that target the low or medium incomes will never work.And indeed as in the upper comments..democracy lose all the values by implementation of such cruel measures…

  4. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    Where did you see such signs? In Ireland they just announced that more billions will be taken out of the country’s economy despite the country having returned to the Markets.. In Greece a third bail out is being discussed and more jobs loses…. Our leaders may be seeing things through rose tinted glasses!!

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Christos Mouzeviris
      This poll is a classic example of ‘opinion engineering’ – by merely posing a question [no matter how ludicrous] said question is afforded an unnecessary gravitas/respect.

    • avatar
      Debating Europe

      @Tarquin The poll results (as well as the video interviews above) present a range of different opinions, and are much more nuanced than you’re making out.

  5. avatar
    Samo Košmrlj

    agreed with all the above, austerity experiment failed big time, because what we need is a thorough reform of the financial system and optimization of the public spending (take for example healthcare, where a lot of money is wasted through the contracts to pharmaceutic companies which were made by aggressive lobbying – or should i say bribes) or maybe in education, where higher levels of education should be transferred to online classrooms, which would reduce the load on the professors but offer quality education.

    And as xavier pointed out, effective use of communication technology would also make government more effective and justifiable.

    Take for example this webpage:
    It is a very good example of which way the citizen’s participation should go to – people can check how their views are compatible with political parties and with each MP. Their views are also taken into database and average view is then calculated (with respect to the country, gender and age). What i see as the best aspect of it though is that they pro’s and con’s for every decision are listed so even if the voter doesn’t have an opinion yet, it is easy to decide when you look at the pro’s and con’s. A valuable addition though would be to add a quantification of the effect – though a lot of time even the experts have no realistic estimates.

  6. avatar
    Pedro Celestino

    NO THEY ARE NOT WORKING, not for the people that it is worst than ever, it will be even worst in the years to come where health and education have been affected.

    • avatar

      Then vote out your government, and vote in a government that will take you out of the EU and the Euro.

      You’ll be better off for it, ironically.

  7. avatar

    I think Mr Callanan wraps it up nicely: living beyond our means is not an option. And I don’t mean it in the ‘household’ way, macroeconomics are different. But anything beyond what you can kick down the road, erode through some healthy inflation and factor in with growth is not austerity. It is plain old common sense, which has a nasty habit of dealing really hard blows to those failing to respect it on the long run. And it is genuinely obvious (in retrospective unfortunately) that some countries in Europe were really on a non-sustainable path. Kicking the ground, crying ‘austerity’ and vilifying Europe is like kicking the doctor because the medicine is bitter. Let’s not forget that without Europe, crisis in Greece would have been harder. Nobody can borrow at 27%.

    • avatar

      Nicely put, I do agree with your oppinion.

      In addition, austerity is a necessary policy to balance the economies of EU in order to evade assymetric shocks in the future. This is crucial for futher development of single currency area and health of the euro.

      Therefore, concerning the long run of european economies, austerity is the key.

  8. avatar
    Panos Mentesidis

    it did work for those who froced it upon us. All of the above comments are right but they explain things from the peoples prespective! not the institutions that benefited from it. Why should a banker or share-holder complain…they get cheaper rates, their debt deleted and cheaper workers to pick and choose. after gambling away billions they don’t owe anything simply because they got us to believe that it is our fault for their unethical behaviour.. Austerity worked for those who have money, now as for the 99% of us who don’t posses large furtunes..of well who cares! politicians certenly don’t and why should they? what can a politician gain from creating 1000 jobs in Europe when he can help a buddy he has from a large multinational coorporation create 10,000 jobs in China and gain a tonne of money and expand his business, after his 4 year term is done then he can go work at his buddy’s large corporation and get rich! In a democracy it is the peoples responsibility to elect the greatest, most honorable and least corrupted people to lead them! untill we do that we can’t complain…so be patients for the next 10 to 20 years…or go and die in one of their wars!
    i here afganistan is nice this time of year!

  9. avatar
    Filipe Brás Almeida

    Austerity measures are merely a mathematical necessity, given unacceptable borrowing costs and the unfeasability of devaluating currency. Their desired effect is to recover financial credibility, but they are the only option. To ask if they are working is to question whether rowing your boat will get you across the river.

    • avatar

      I think it was put nicely above, that you can’t have them alone. We in the UK thought it would solve everything, and it didn’t. The coalition government inherited a economy growing at 2.3% and it’s only just got back to a 0.8% growth rate.

      Bringing down the day to day cost of the state is one thing, it’s quiet another to cut state spending. Infrastructure projects and incentives for business are needed for a stable recovery in the economy just as much as credibility.

  10. avatar
    Sofia Portugal

    Please… austerity cannot be the way, at least for some countries: the poverty is increasing (people cannot leave with wages under the 400 euros and with no jobs stimulation and/or creation…the people wants to work, but the uncertainty the wage cuts and taxes are unbelievably high compared with actual living wages and people are miserably asking for food…this cannot be the Europe we want for this century…).. The more qualified generation is running away from southern Europe countries, once there are no investment measures that can represent the bet in new industries and new job opportunities…my parents raised two daughters, they and the country give them high education…now those 2 daughters are creating wealth for different continents, not for the country that want to live because there are no jobs, no investment and no hope…to confirm it, just turn on Portuguese news.
    Europe will get much more older, sad and with a runaway generation if something will not be done on time…so PLEASE…let me came back home and let me believe in EUROPE.

  11. avatar
    Catalin Vasile

    Austerity is not ment to help people nor countries but only the rich, the “elite”, to get richer, while countries go broke and ar dismantled and people get to live like animals, fighting for survival and witnessing their loved ones die for not getting their medication!A buncg of criminals ruling through scums so dare to call themselves politicians!May the Lord enlighten or punish you as you choose to proceed!Take care for the day will come when the crowd will no longer look for justice but for the scums heads and blood!

  12. avatar
    Tobias Soechtig

    Austerity never works. One can find the answer in the meaning of austerity: These measures are policies, especially cutting public expenditure, when the economic situation simply doesn’t allow it.

  13. avatar
    George Danieldsg

    Austerity measures destroyed economy .Worked fine to destroy people and small and medium businessmen for the interests of bankers and market and economy vultures.Politicians responsible for austerity worked against european citizens.That is the reason of secret meetings.

  14. avatar
    Tamzin Jans

    I think the austerity measures, in order to be fully effective, need to also force the European Commission employees to cut down their huge benefits and their pensions funds that they don’t pay into! Then, perhaps, we can all celebrate together when it “works” for all of us equally.

    Too many in the EU living like Marie-Antoinette’s who think that if the peasants don’t have bread, they can buy cake!

  15. avatar
    gabriela isac

    austerity is a new name for bad management…..what if rotten is removed and implement healthy measures based on a medium and long run action plan

  16. avatar
    Inês Beato

    No. Austerity is destroying national economy, taking economic power from the citizens and small and medium sized companies, leading to stagnation of the market and unemployment : Buninesses are closing and NOW people are getting in debt…

    • avatar

      Vote your government out then, and install a government that will move you out of EU/Euro.

      You will be better off.

  17. avatar
    Lyubomir Sirkov

    Austerity was long overdue ? it is in fact not ?austerity?, it is plain common sense to put responsibility where it should belong. You cannot spend all of your future income today ? you have to earn it first.

    • avatar
      Limbidis Arian

      Economics 101 show the contrary.
      You can’t feed the top ice cream and the bottom leftovers and expect the whole mechanism to work.

  18. avatar
    Henri Erti

    The fundamental purpose of austerity programs is to allow market forces to clear out projects, investments, businesses and people, who do not produce results.

    To argue that austerity creates unemployment and decline in output is frankly correct. However, is such result negative in the long-run? Is it profitable to maintain industries, investments and projects that are supported by public funding?

  19. avatar
    Γιώργος Γιαννόπουλος

    The elections should be a referendum against austerity and the “democratic deficit”. Who needs an authoritarian -chinese style- neoliberal EU, that promises blood sweat and tears for the next 10 years or more?Only masochist self blaming puritan perverts.

  20. avatar
    Orlando Guerreiro

    The austerity measures that are being applied to Portugal and all over Europe are not the proper solutions to the market. They protect the most wealth class and destroys completely the middle class. Portugal, particularly, the gap between the wealth class and the lower class were drastically increase. These asymmetries lead to huge economic problems hence social. It is wiser to distribute the wealth trough a larger number of the population, at least enough to pay taxes and consume essential goods, therefore improve the economy…than to have, just a few, rich people sucking all the money from the states for their private Banks.
    Why the Euro is not controlled by the countries that are part of EU?
    Why there still exist private banks between the Central European Bank, for the Euro coin transaction, and the countries?
    Why do we still need to feed strong and rich bankers?

  21. avatar
    catherine benning

    First and foremost any improvement suggested in the state of our economy is rigged. Only those with huge financial advantage have done well from the demise of ordinary people across Europe as we were being robbed of our welfare and pensions pot. The growth, if there is any at all, is only connected to the affluent sector, not across the board of society or toward the ordinary man and woman, as being floated by those in the know. And the reason this is being flagged as growth being up, the way it is, is in order to reduce the lean toward socialism austerity is creating. The rich and their hangers on, don’t want to be separated from their offshore mountains of wealth by a people they find it so easy to manipulate. They feel if they send out this message and put up fake figures we will swallow it like fish gobbling in a pond as they feel that is what we want to believe. We want relief from stress and this is a good dodge.

    An amazing change in six months. Yes, indeed? Lets listen to how and why.

    And according to Obama. If you believe him of course.

  22. avatar
    Jaime Martins

    Frau Merkel conseguiu, pelos trocos que deu, encher-se e controlar a Europa como recompensa, sem fazer guerra alguma como o hitler. Veremos se não vai ser mais mortal, mesmo sem tiro algum!!!

  23. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    @Debating Europe
    Let me remind you that Debating Europe has a partisan remit, your response to my post demonstrates same ergo my assertion stands.

  24. avatar

    The rich have recovered, yes. Thieving bankers have recovered, yes.

    However, as usual it is ignored that unemployment is up, poverty is up and the middle class is shrinking, and the median wage is plummeting.

    When the EU-ites mention recovery, they mean their corporate friends, not ordinary people like you and me. The race to the bottom is on, and gaining steam.

    • avatar
      Limbidis Arian

      Austerity hasn’t work in the Great Depression of the 1930s and has DESTROYED economies during that period. And it is doing exactly the same here and now. EXACTLY the same.

      This has only one reason: The rich who caused this DON’T WANT TO PAY for their mistake and they have the political power corrupted enough to get their wish.
      Austerity never work, it can’t work. The notion that if rich entities do well – that somehow – the poor will do better is utter bunk and hilarious.
      Perhaps we should look towards what was done in the 1930s:
      TAX the rich to 94%
      TAX the banks and corporations to 91%
      INCREASE social programs for poor people – healthcare, education and unemployment benefits.
      This is called keynesian economics, it helps the BOTTOM first so that THEY start the economy again. It worked then, and we aren’t even discussing it now. Why?
      Because the rich and the corporations DON”T WANT it. They are afraid. And they should be afraid.

      But i say we should go further than that. In the 1930s we have stopped the crisis and regulated the banks and taxd them. No sooner was the war over in 1945 that the business community and the rich began to work to DISMANTLE everything. They are about finished doing it in America, and they have grown VERY strong in the process.

      So regulating them won’t work anymore, they can simply use the US influence to impose their will – which they have been doing for the last 30 years by the way.
      There’s this funny ln ITALY ( those of you that are italian can correct me if i am wrong ) called “THE MARCORA LAW” which states the following:
      Every person who is unemployed is entitled to:
      a) a monthly pay check of a certain sum, a regular unemployment benefit…or….OR…
      b) they can find 9 more people unemployed, get ALL their unemployment benefit out in one take and START A COOPERATIVE of workers.

      Now you tell me which man is happier? The one getting unemployment benefit?
      Or the one who is working in his own firm?

      And yet there is no discussion about this at the EU level. Not a word. Nobody is asking or even thinking about it.
      “uhh…why aren’t we doing this ?”
      “uhh…what if it works?”
      Instead we get this regular crap from “DebatingEurope” about how :

      Pardon my french but this is bull-crap and we all know it. Hell THEY know it too.
      So let’s stop pretending and do what’s right for once.

      Enough with this top-down corporate system.
      It’s undemocratic and it serves the interest of a few ‘share holders’ instead of society and its workers.

    • avatar
      Limbidis Arian

      Austerity IS implemented at EU level, genius <.<
      And it's NOT working ( big surprise ).

  25. avatar
    Oxfam EU

    If left unchecked, austerity measures are expected to plunge 25 million more Europeans into poverty by 2025, taking the number of those at risk of poverty up to 146 million; over a quarter of the population. Unemployment is at record highs and inequality is quickly increasing. Across Europe, the impacts differ, but the same conclusion can be drawn.

    Spain, currently undergoing cuts of 11% of its GDP, and Greece, who saw a fall in real wages of 10% within a single year, are taking the worst brunt of austerity measures, but other countries are deeply affected too. The UK, who is said to be reacting ‘positively’ to the cuts, will see more than 1 million public sector jobs lost by 2018 and can expect to see wealth gaps become more akin to South Sudan than a developed country. The fact remains that, today, one in ten working households in Europe are already in poverty.

    So the question should be asked, who does austerity work for? It certainly isn’t a policy designed for the vast majority of Europeans, but for the richest few. We know this because we have seen it before. We watched as structural adjustment policies, which have an uncanny similarity to austerity measures, ripped apart economies and civil societies of Latin America, South-East Asia and Africa during the 1980’s and 1990’s. It took 10 years for Indonesians to return to 1997 levels of poverty and some Latin American economies took 25 years to recover completely. It did not work then and it will not work now.

    There are alternatives to austerity. We must target employment creation, maintain free public services such as health and education for those who need them and promote greater participation in both the political and economic system. European governments need fairer tax systems – including policies to curb tax evasion and a tax on financial transactions.

  26. avatar

    Dinero y recursos hay. En Europa .amigos seria conveniente ver en los comportamientos de los países esa amistad la amistad es muy diferente de la solidaridad .los lideres europeos se ven como amigos

  27. avatar
    Olivier Laurent

    Well there is a strange notion of Austerity in Europe…Basically austerity doesn’t mean spending less…It means taxing more which is a totally new (and opposite) definition of austerity.

  28. avatar
    Sunshine Rose

    Can you get more stupid when asking that question? Like Tiago says- it is working for banks and some directors so they can keep high quality of life. But, it is not working for millions of other people, who just get more stressed and worried and poor. Are you guys owned by China maybe, so you are doing all this to destroy european people- so chinese can take over the continent some day, when europens are almost non existing?

  29. avatar
    Fer Nandinho

    Austerity is yet another eufemism used by politicians just as, intervention instead of war, or negative growth instead of crisis, its all about hiding the truth. It is clear that the austerity means, you, southern countries fucked up, so were not supporting you anymore, and we will turn you into cheap labour, cause thats all you can do, we will force each government to accept all this, and will make all your rights, health, education, dissapear. If you are poor, disabled, or have no money, ur done and noone will help you. And thats the reality, unless we change iit. Austerity only destroys our society, and wipes out middle and low class, while it makes richer the rich. And thats about it.

  30. avatar
    Theodoros Pitikaris

    of course is working … Bulgaria has now a minimum salary far lower that China
    120 euro and 176 euros in anticipation. The debts in Sovereign Debt in the most austere countries are now in new record high (Greece 171%, Portugal 123%, , Italy 127 % , Spain 90 %, Ireland 117 % ) .

    Austerity has jeopardized Democracy and the Fundamental rights, people are to live in despair and at least one generation is going to be lost as the unemployment rate among the young people is higher than ever .

    There is no doubt that this radical new-liberal approach -the so called austerity – is the ultimate tool for the destruction of our Union

  31. avatar
    Osia Katsidou

    It is failing miserably! The more substantial problem is not even in the present. Disastrous statistics of youth unemployment with such disproportionate changes in dynamics throughout the EU will definitely have long-term consequences. Whoever doesn’t see this coming is completely mislead and any member state thank thinks it won’t be affected by the outcomes has still not understood the concept of union with economic interdependence as one of its core attributes.

  32. avatar
    Phạm Lê Quốc Việt

    Austerity is not failed but saving bank is failed. Why didnt they use amount (which was used for saving banks) to save poverty? Just because the poor cant not influence on policy makers but bankers

  33. avatar
    Thooris Foudoukidis

    industries and cartels

  34. avatar
    Solea Razvan Adrian

    First of all – is the “austerity” word used as a meaning of promoting and “idea” or the “real need of taking measures”? – I would say it’s badly used!

  35. avatar
    Phạm Lê Quốc Việt

    Lets banks save banks, money to save banks is lost money. Banks must support all of the consequences for their underestimation and overestimation of market. Saving banks is against the market economy’ principles. There s no reason to save banks that is the private sector. Public money must serve the public interest as to saving the poor that i always support !

  36. avatar
    Jaime Martins

    YES AUSTERITY IS FAILING. Do you really know to make accounts and to analyse them? I don’t think so, and you do not work for people, you are working for banks. If you had worked for people the crisis had gone and economy growing

  37. avatar
    Lazaros Kalaitzidis

    There is no point arguing for or against austerity. We can all see the results, at least in the southern countries. So the fact is not if austerity is working, but that at the moment in Greece and Spain youth unemployment is at ~50-60% and other countries are heading towards the same path. So the real question is where will the decision makers and the banksters hide, when all these young people will realise that some bureaucrats have in fact stolen their lives and their dreams just to save for a little while longer their overwhelmingly provocative style of life. Those will be the days.. :)

  38. avatar
    Katarina Vella

    why are we giving austerity? Their government should make sure that his people are feed and have a job.

  39. avatar
    Carlos Villafranca

    Was it necessary to put a picture of an Eastern gipsy? Now seriously, austerity from peripheral countries = direct money to germany. Crisis have more crisis, prosperous becomes more prosperous. In every situation, we all know who will win and lose.

  40. avatar

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHa again the same question? that was up two weeks ago..whats wrong with you people? what else do you want to see? in countries where your “programme” is being implemented they don’t have bandages and vaccines in hospitals and books in schools. I mean I understand politicians are sadistic but that much? come on…get serious! (I strongly recommend this to every banker, corrupt politician and EU parliament member who supports austerity)
    If you are a politician in Greece do something good for your people, KILL YOURSELF! Just like 6,000 greeks have done so far because of your programme!

  41. avatar
    Jesús Rgz

    Absolutely not! Austerity policies have driven us into a chaotic situation we may last too long to leave behind. Politicians seem to live in a outter world where problems don’t exist. The real thing is they don’t care whatsoever at us because they don’t even ask citiziens whether they agree or not those policies. Reality shows that those measures are not working and the only thing they’ve reached is to increase the differences among the classes. Poverty has turn into the main problem and social exclusion joins it narrowly. UE cannot rule apart the real needings of the citizens. If we want to build up a great Europe we all should work together by reducing the differences amongst all the people. If not, it doesn’t make any sense this project…

  42. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    what do you think? if the stats that come from Oxfam are accurate, what do you think our answer will be? who in his/her right mind would believe that austerity alone is working, when we have this data coming from all over Europe. 25 million Europeans on the poverty line..And the European leadership insists that what they are doing is right.. Self righteous b&%4*!!!

  43. avatar
    Jaime Martins

    Depois de 2 anos de austeridade a Dvida pblica Portuguesa sobe para 131,3% do PIB no segundo trimestre, ainda continuam a achar que a austeridade a soluo quando no h crescimento econmico que quebre o aumento da divida?
    Parece que h gente na Europa que tem prazer em ver pessoas a morrer fome e a suicidarem-se

  44. avatar
    Henri Erti

    Austerity is a harsh, but necessary medicine to fix economies. It will take time and effort to remove investments, programs, companies and public policies that are the sources of over-spending. Is austerity too ruthless? Yes by all means. But it is also necessary to adjust our economy that has lived beyond its resources.

  45. avatar
    Antonio Jose Pecurto Pecurto

    Alemanha e os poderosos da UE devem mudar as suas politicas de austeridade e no nevegar ao sabor do calendrio politico da Alemanha e dos poderosos da UE hoje esto a empurrar os contribuintes Europeus para o tunel do empobrecimento verdade h que corregir os erros do passado mas hoje a austeridade esta com peso a mais dentro dos paises perifericos a rvore esta a secar os frutos esto a mirrar e o Sir Hortelo borra-botas no se d conta disso

  46. avatar
    Stephen Wolstenholme

    I agree with the person who said Let?s quit this destructive elite project and get back to the basis: cooperation, trade and organising a yearly song festival together.” !

  47. avatar
    Pedro Celestino

    Rich are richer and everybody else is poorer (environments included), so yes it is working FOR THE RICH.

  48. avatar
    Hamza Serry-Senhaji

    Don’t blame “austerity” measures , blame government’s irresponsible spending behavior of the last decade. A lot of people blame austerity as if governments really had a choice. So their solution is to solve a problem of too much leverage or debt by more debt as if there were by magic no costs involved for anyone. Fiscal consolidation and structural reforms are unavoidable , painful in the short run but effective in the medium/long run. We can argue about the pace of reform but the more we delay our efforts the more we delay our achievements.

  49. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    yeah but meanwhile, it is not the rich who suffer, it is the ordinary folk… cut the salaries of the politicians in half and we will save far more that cutting pensions… the cuts are unfair and target the weaker and the young… a whole generation is forced to live with their parents until their 30s, unable to kick start their lives… our governments messed up, but we have to pay the price while those who caused all the mess are not affected.. seriously?

  50. avatar
    Andrea Tuswald

    i notice even in austria that there are more and more beggars and homeless people…thanks to austerity measures introduced by the (not very social) socialist party.

  51. avatar
    Alexandru Nicusor Bujor

    bank-polution and world domination!! take money from banks, not from people. the bank system failed, not the people. why should we suffer for the bad bank-politics of some countries …

  52. avatar

    Austerity for others but not for krauts. A former communist “wurst” was invested by neocon corrupt politicians, bankers and lobbyists to rule over Europe. Their egocentrism based politic is about to burst. A harsh lesson for europeans, the marxist clever hidden behind EPP ideology “One size fits all”.

Your email will not be published

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Notify me of new comments. You can also subscribe without commenting.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More debate series – Debate on the future of Europe View all

By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our Privacy Policy unless you have disabled them. You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them.