财政紧缩与欧洲社会

华盛顿—在过去五年中,在没有明确的群众支持的情况下,欧元区的政策焦点严格地集中于财政紧缩和结构改革上——尽管这掀起了巨大的社会反弹,不仅在地中海周边和爱尔兰是如此,甚至在法国等欧盟“核心”国家也是如此。除非欧元区领导人反思这一方针,否则极端政党左翼联盟(Syriza)在最近的希腊大选中获胜将只是欧洲滑向社会分裂和政治动荡过程中的一小步。或者它也可以标志着务实而有益的欧洲经济战略再转向的开端。

当然,财政稳定是防止破坏性债务重组、激发投资者和消费者信心的关键。但不可否认,当你足够富裕因此不必依赖公共政策或者面临长期失业的巨大风险时,支持财政紧缩会容易得多。(富人还掌握着媒体、公共话语权和跨国资本流。)

对数百万工人来说——特别是年轻人——没有工作前景,财政可持续性就不可能成为仅有的优先考虑项。当失业救济大幅减少时,他们就会沦为受害者。而当预算削减影响到教育时,他们的孩子就无法获得实现未来潜力所需要的技能。

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