Friday, May 11, 2012

Deutsche Welle panel discussion in English of the European crisis

Deutsche Welle English's YouTube offerings have generally been fluff. Some of it's interesting fluff, but usually nothing that substantial. But they have started making available some videos that include helpful discussions of the European economic/financial crisis.

This feature from their Quadriga program, Game-changing Elections - The End of Austerity in Europe? 10.05.2012.

The German guest Friedrich Thelen of Wirtschaftswoche essentially takes the Angiebot line of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, which treats the whole thing as a Protestant morality place, with Germany being the virtuous responsible models (which isn't the reason they've done particularly well the last few years) vs. the Greeks and most everyone else who have been naughty, irresponsible spendthrifts who now have to destroy their own economies and impoverish millions of their workers as punishment for their sins. This is German nationalism masquerading as secular morality play. In this case advocated by a stuffy old guy with bright red socks who seems oblivious to basic macroeconomics. Plus, his account of postwar US finances is dingy.

Arnaud Boutet of France 2 was more reserved and cautious and tried to stick more to practical political prospects in this situation. He does recognize that austerity isn't the cure-all that Angie and her Angiebots like Thelen pretend to think it is. Actually, I think Angie may actually believe this stuff.

Greek journalist Theodoros Kouvakas gives a more realistic economic analysis of the EU's recent economic history.

The moderator claim that Ireland point outs that Angie's fiscal suicide pact hasn't yet been formally ratified by all of the 25 countries whose heads of government have foolishly signed on to the thing.

The German Social Democrats (SPD) are actually showing signs of life, including the fact that they're forcing Angie to postpone the vote on the fiscal suicide pact in the Parliament until June. The Princess Angie von Merkel had previously decreed that the vote would be held in May.

The moderator repeats the silly zombie of the Angiebots on both sides of the Atlantic that Ireland is a success story for austerity. Paul Krugman seems particularly annoyed at this claim, because he shoots it down about twice a week on his blog.

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