Sunday, April 07, 2013

New troubles for Portugal to meet the demands of Angela "Frau Fritz" Merkel for austerity

Aljazeera English reports on the latest wrinkle in Portugal's austerity troubles, in which a constitutional court decision blocked a key part of their austerity program enacted under the hammer of pressure from German Chancellor Angela "Frau Fritz" Merkel to impoverish the Portuguese for the comfort of the Germans and her organizational hammer, the Troika (EU, ECB, IMF). Portugal PM warns nation's eurozone position could be put in jeopardy 04/07/2013:

The caption to the YouTube video reports:

Portugal's Prime Minister has addressed the nation after a crisis was triggered over his government's proposed austerity cuts.

Pedro Passos Coelho said that he respected but disagreed with a decision by Portugal's highest court to reject its proposed austerity measure.

Passos Coelho said it would have consequences for the entire country and threatened the nation's position in the eurozone.

The constitutional court's decision deprives the government of about $1.7 billion of expected revenue.
An Aljazeera English news article on the subject is here, Austerity ruling puts Portugal in a bind 04/06/2013.

Things have reached the point where democracy in the eurozone, most urgently at the moment in Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain, the existence of meaningful electoral democracy, is in direct contradiction to continued membership in the euro.

The success of the eurozone and the larger EU depended on the German political elites and the sense of responsibility and restraint on the part of German voters would be strong enough to never allow a German government to do with Frau Fritz has been doing since 2009, with the disgraceful support of the German Social Democratic Party and even the Greens - who are in any case seated to the right of the SPD in the Bundestag.

The inspired Greek cartoonist Yannis Ioannou in this 02.04.2013 cartoon depicts Frau Fritz giving some kiddies a tour of an Anthropological Museum that includes what happens to those who tell Frau Fritz "Ja" (yes) and those who tell her "nein" (no). The former gets put in a stockade and kept there till they die, they latter are immediately guillotined. (What the Yeti is doing there, I don't know!)

Not unlike this lady, with Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain all in Alice's position, and who knows who's next?

And how is the democratically elected conservative Prime Minster of Portugal Pedro Passos Coelho defending his country? By more austerity, of course! As Andrei Khalip and Sergio Goncalves report in Portugal to cut spending after court ruling Reuters 04/07/2013:

Passos Coelho said in a televised address Friday's Constitutional Court ruling posed "serious obstacles and risks" this year and next, but reaffirmed his commitment to the fiscal and economic adjustment program under an EU/IMF bailout.

"The government is committed to all the objectives of the program," he said, ruling out further tax hikes but saying it was vital to avoid a second rescue and that he had told ministers to cut spending.

The court on Friday rejected four out of nine contested austerity measures in this year's budget, including cuts to holiday bonuses for pensioners and public servants and reductions in sickness leave and unemployment benefits.
It should come as no surprise from a Prime Minister who in 2011 had this idea for his people without jobs (Mario Queiroz, PORTUGAL: No Jobs? Just Emigrate! Inter Press Service 12/29/2011):

Hounded by the economic crisis that shows no signs of letting up and by political leaders of all stripes, Portugal's conservative Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho sent out an unprecedented message to his fellow citizens: emigrate.

A wave of indignation was triggered when Passos Coelho, in the face of the growing unemployment that is hitting young people and educators extremely hard, suggested to teachers on Dec. 18 that as an alternative they could move to Portuguese-speaking countries like Brazil or Angola.

The next day, several ministers applauded the prime minister's remarks, saying his suggestion was a valid solution, especially for teachers.

But the governments of Angola and Brazil quickly responded, saying they had no immediate need for teachers.

Surveys indicate that young people between the ages of 25 and 34 are the most interested in moving abroad.
Democracy or the euro is the choice facing a number of countries now, including Portugal.

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