Europe, prepare for a riotous 2012

Monday, December 19, 2011
By Paul Martin

If eurozone countries continue to pursue misguided policies, social movements will gain steam and the EU will unravel

Henning Meyer
Monday 19 December 2011

As 2011 draws to a close, it is fair to say that this year has been one of the most disastrous for the European Union in its history. The eurozone crisis has spread from the periphery to the core and all political and financial rescue packages were too little, too late. Towards the end of the year it felt like EU leaders took longer to agree the latest measures to restore confidence than it took for markets to lose it again.

It was also unfortunate that the little action taken was mostly misguided. This includes austerity policies implemented simultaneously across Europe and the creation of so-called debt brakes, which is basically the constitutionalisation of a failed stability framework. The last summit of the year also brought about the biggest political rift in the union’s history, with the UK blocking a treaty change leaving the EU deeply divided and caught up in a silly war of words.

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