Should Ireland exit the euro zone? Prof. Ray Kinsella – May 20, 2013

Read full article on Irish Examiner Website

 

THERE are three reasons why a managed exit by Ireland from the eurozone is the most urgent economic priority. But first consider this reality.

The German finance minister, under whom the euro was launched, Oskar Lafontaine, earlier this month called for its break-up. He asserted “the current policy is leading to disaster”.

He was referring, in particular, to the impact of eurozone polices on peripheral countries. But much closer to the centre, France — whose credit rating was downgraded late last year — is now deeply mired in a second recession, with no obvious way forward. The Economist has called France “the time-bomb at the heart of Europe”.

In the late summer of 2010, I argued in these pages and elsewhere that if Ireland did not change course, matters would be taken out of the government’s hands. They were. The “inconceivable” happened. The “inconceivable” may be happening again.

The austerity doctrine imposed the burden of adjustment to the post-2008 economic collapse on the labour market. It is an indefensible misuse of economics that the eurozone “authorities” should seek stability on the back of tens of millions of unemployed — this month’s eurozone unemployment figures reached yet another record.

It is equally indefensible that, within an economic epoch characterised by intellectual capital and innovation, youth unemployment should now stand at an average of 25% — and more than double this in some of the peripheral countries which are most in need of their intellectual capital and capabilities.

At this stage in the present recessionary cycle, there is no sense in what is being done to the economy — and what is being planned for forthcoming budgets. After five austerity budgets the deficit has been reduced, at a terrible cost, and with much further to go. The country has been brought to the brink just to impose further cuts of €300m — of which half is slated to come from health including disability services that are already bleeding.

Read full article on Irish Examiner Website

There is no longer any appetite for the argument that only further integration will solve this crisis. This is a self-serving argument and finds no resonance among national populations. There is always a danger to democracy when the elite — the ‘authorities’ — become semi-detached from the beliefs of the people from whom they get their legitimacy. Riot control is a poor and an obdurate response to the reality that the ‘authorities’ have lost the argument.

 

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Alex Templeton speaking at ECOBATE - UK - 2013

Councils should "bring local banks into being" so they can become "powerful partners" and promote economic, social and environmental benefits to their communities.

Published on Mar 21, 2013 Speaking at the 2nd European Conference on Banking and the Economy (ECOBATE) in Winchester, Alex Templeton, Director of the Farm Energy Project, explains how a disfunctional financial system has made it harder to lend to small businesses which in turn impacts communities.

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