Skip to content

Southern international locations within the lure of the euro and the one market

[NDLR : Le mercredi 21 septembre à 18 heures, LVSL organise une conférence sur les trente ans du Traité de Maastricht à l’École normale supérieure (29 rue d’Ulm, salle Jean Jaurès) en présence de Frédéric Farah, Alma Dufour, Chloé Ridel et Aquilino Morelle. Inscription obligatoire ici]

On the time of the thirtieth anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty, the evaluation is crucial, because the foreign money of the south is linked to a mess of evils within the international locations of southern Europe. Most of them have skilled deindustrialization and wage austerity, then the pangs of restricted sovereignty – their tutelage by worldwide establishments geared toward administering forced-march neoliberal reforms to them. To the better advantage of Germany and the international locations of the North, which have seen their surpluses improve consistent with the deficits of the South, and their income develop on the wage moderation imposed on the South. Because the pandemic, the European establishments declare to have modified their doctrine and inaugurated a extra favorable framework for southern Europe. Past the speeches, it’s the similar political practices, inherited from Maastricht, which stay.

From an financial viewpoint, the one market had already tremendously benefited the economic coronary heart of the European Union and accelerated the deindustrialization of a few of the international locations of southern Europe. Agglomeration and polarization results have labored towards them. An entire tutorial literature has amply demonstrated this.

The euro would proceed to undermine the financial and industrial bases of those international locations. From 2001 to 2008, the euro was tremendously overvalued for the southern international locations. Due to the 2008 disaster and above all to sovereign debt, financial savings from southern international locations headed in the direction of central international locations.

In such an uncooperative framework, the international locations of the South have been compelled into parasitic methods: aggressive fiscal dumping, discount of labor prices, and so on. However these decisions haven’t halted the underlying dynamics: demographic decline, mind drain, inadequate public funding.

From a political viewpoint, the constitutionalization of financial insurance policies has additionally come to deal a extreme blow to the favored sovereignty of those international locations (inscription within the Constitutions of a Golden Rule budgetary, memorandum logic, subordination of parliaments in budgetary issues, electoral interference, and so on.).

This work of financial and political deconstruction started with the preparation for the one foreign money. Italy, Greece, Spain, Cyprus, Portugal have inflicted an austerity treatment on themselves to satisfy the Maastricht standards, getting into right into a deflationary logic even earlier than becoming a member of the one foreign money.

Italy: from enthusiastic adherence to the acute proper to the gates of energy…

This alternative of the one foreign money had severe penalties. What Italy achieved in 1993 – a pointy devaluation of the lira, which had optimistic outcomes by way of progress – will not be doable for it. Since 1999, Italy’s lifestyle has stagnated and even declined. Within the competitors with Germany, the lack of its foreign money has been greater than damaging to it. The nation has generated main budgetary surpluses for nearly 20 years to the detriment of its public investments and its well being system. For greater than ten years, Italy has lived beneath European surveillance. Two technical governments – that of Mario Monti and Mario Draghi – explicitly had the operate of implementing the bitter insurance policies of the Union. As for the opposite presidents of the council, they’re hardly removed from the dominant orientations…

Editor’s observe: for an in depth evaluation of the neoliberal recipes administered to Italy, learn on LVSL the article by Stefano Palombarini “Le neoliberalisme, incurable illness of Italy? »

At present the acute proper is about to take over the nation. However it’s not sufficient to win the elections to control with such a fancy electoral course of – to not point out that the President of the Republic ensures that Italy’s European commitments are revered. It under no circumstances intends to interrupt with the financial and social framework of the European Union. Its agenda is cultural and focuses on migration points.

Italy is aware of that it lives beneath the specter of a rise in spreads. If mandatory, the European establishments will use their disciplinary drive to place an finish to any program which will deviate too removed from the dominant financial paradigm.

We might shortly neglect the threats made towards the few measures known as social of the 5-star Motion in enterprise in 2018, and which aimed to combat towards precariousness at work, to ascertain an equal of the RSA, or to revoke the Fornero legislation on pensions…

The trauma of guardianship

Greece, too, paid dearly for selecting to undertake the euro. Even earlier than this, it carried out a coverage of wage austerity. In 2007, Greece was hailed by the OECD for its structural reforms, however its progress was primarily based on public debt in addition to unsustainable non-public debt. The overvalued euro of the Trichet years proved lethal for the Greek financial system. The remaining is just too well-known: from 2010 to the current day, the nation’s trusteeship by the European establishments and the IMF has left the nation cold.

Editor’s observe: learn on LVSL the article by Zoé Miaoulis: “The duty of Tsipras within the Greek catastrophe”

Spain, Portugal and Cyprus have additionally been caught up in the identical turmoil, compelled into probably the most brutal austerity or to come back beneath EU surveillance for the final two. In such an uncooperative framework, these international locations have been compelled into parasitic methods: aggressive fiscal dumping, discount of labor prices, and so on. However these decisions haven’t halted the underlying dynamics: demographic decline, mind drain, inadequate public funding. Between 15,000 and 20,000 Spanish researchers are at present working overseas, i.e. greater than 10% of these working of their nation…

On studying the suggestions of the European semester for Spain, it’s unsurprising that the identical orientations dominate: “as regards the interval after 2023, [le semestre recommande que l’Espagne s’attache] to pursue a fiscal coverage that goals to attain prudent medium-term fiscal positions and to make sure credible and gradual debt discount and medium-term fiscal sustainability via gradual consolidation, funding and reform” .

The suggestions of the identical semester for Portugal are of the identical ilk: “for the interval after 2023 [le semestre recommande que le Portugal s’attache] to pursue a fiscal coverage geared toward attaining prudent medium-term fiscal positions and making certain credible and gradual debt discount and medium-term fiscal sustainability via gradual consolidation, funding and reform”.

Whereas the international locations of the South are recording optimistic progress regardless of the inflationary context, their means of deindustrialization continues. The thesis, propagated by supporters of the European Union, of attributing the difficulties of those international locations to inner causes will not be passable. The only market/single foreign money couple has performed the position of an infernal duo, aggravating outdated difficulties, and making the way forward for these international locations more and more bleak…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.