Monday, May 06, 2013

European austerity

Aljazeera English's Counting the Cost program recently looked at austerity in Europe, Austerity debunked 04/27/2013, for the first 14 minutes or so of the 25-minute program:

It includes news from developing economic issues in eurozone member Slovenia and also in Spain, which has just experienced its first annual decrease in population on record.

There is an accompanying article, Austerity debunked 04/27/2013:

Greece has had to sell off its islands; Ireland has proposed selling its national forest. Britain has forced the disabled to go to work; in Spain there is the kind of unemployment levels that have in the past led to the creation of a military junta; there have been riots, and the near collapse of the currency.

And it has all been because of one thing, one overriding necessity forced on the people by the political class of a continent: austerity. ...

Europe's austerity drive is also partially to blame for Slovenia's economic troubles. It is in recession for the second time in four years, and racing to avoid becoming the sixth eurozone nation to need a bailout.

As demand for its exports declines, Slovenia's banks are sitting on bad debts worth an estimated $9bn, or a fifth of its economy. It also needs to raise almost $4bn this year to refinance debt, a budget shortfall, and the banks which alone need to raise a billion dollars - a figure which international organisations and credit ratings agencies think is not enough.
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