Friday, May 24, 2013

Angie and Spain

German Chancellor Angela "Frau Fritz" Merkel isn't happy with her Spanish subjects. (Griselda Pastor, Alemania pasa a la defensiva Cadena SER 15.05.2013)

Spain's banks are still shaky, i.e., under-capitalized. Frau Fritz' government is complaining that Spain didn't take enough EU money. Under Angienomics, the aid to the banks would become a debt obligation of the Spanish government. But for Frau Fritz, that would be a good result. Because it would give her even more leverage to accelerate the neoliberal "reforms" (lower wages, deregulation, privatization, etc.) that both the current Spanish government and its Socialist predecessor have been implementing already.

One of the neoliberal "reforms" they are pushing on Spain comes from EU Commissar for Labor László Ándor. It's something they haven!t even pushed onto Greece, Ireland or Portugal yet, something called the "unified work contract" (contrato único). Like other neoliberal schemes, it's basically a way of reducing workers' rights, income and job stability and weakening unions. It's such an obnoxious idea that even Mariano Rajoy's conservative, austerity-committed government is willing to embrace. (Ana Bravo Cuiñas, ¿Contrato único? El Gobierno se decanta por la contratación simplificada El Mundo 19.05.2013)

But Rjoy's Partido Popular (PP) have taken it seriously in the recent past. (Mercedes Serraller, El PP propone un contrato único y flexible 'anticrisis' Expansión 19.07.2011) As Cuiñas points out, one element of the contrato único proposal has similarities to a workers' capitalization fund arrangement currently used by Austria, Denmark and the Netherlands. But László Ándor's proposal taken literally "tendría equivalente en ningún otro país del mundo" ("would have no equivalent in any other country of the world"). And for workers, that would be not in a good way.

The eurozone has turned into a laboratory for how far neoliberal, anti-labor "reforms" can be enacted without setting aside parliamentary government.

Tags: , , , , ,

No comments: