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Super-Angela

by afew Fri Jan 25th, 2013 at 04:30:43 AM EST

Spiegel gushes:


Speech in Davos: Merkel Refuses Role of Rescuer in Euro Crisis - SPIEGEL ONLINE

The World Economic Forum couldn't have found a more suitable keynote speaker. Leading the charge in efforts to save the euro, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has become the most powerful politician in Europe, and the person expected to save its currency from collapsing and wreaking financial havoc worldwide.

I can't find a full transcript of the speech, but among other things Super-Angela laid on the assembled global notables were:

Angela Merkel tells Davos austerity must continue | World news | The Guardian

...Merkel insisted it was vital to keep driving down labour costs to make Europe more competitive.

"Were we to meet halfway, we would have accepted that Europe will not be competitive globally," said Merkel, adding that this would cause unacceptable damage to Germany's exporters.

So austerity is the only way:

Angela Merkel tells Davos austerity must continue | World news | The Guardian

Merkel insisted current unemployment levels were a price Europe had to pay to become more competitive, and pointed out that Germany had been on the same path, with unemployment hitting 5 million before the public accepted structural reforms.

The only point of interest or novelty here is that pretending austerity is meant to reduce debt no longer works. Pretty much everyone has now understood that it brings down GDP and makes debt and deficit reduction targets impossible to attain. So its real function -- using unemployment to drive down labour costs -- is now out there in the open, in the words of Super-Angela herself.

But a human heart beats beneath that invulnerable exterior:

Angela Merkel tells Davos austerity must continue | World news | The Guardian

Merkel ended her Davos appearance with a plea to global international companies to employ more young people in Europe, to bring them "jobs, peace and hope".

Leaders at Davos Put Spotlight on Europe's Biggest Burden

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told delegates at the Forum that "our big burden right now is youth unemployment in Europe."

"Whoever is willing to step up to the plate and give at least a small contribution to opening up a perspective to young people, I can only invite you do this in Europe. We welcome anyone with open arms who gives some hope to young people," she said.

Big of her.


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Eurointelligence daily briefing points to an El País article:

Merkel muestra su preocupación por el alto paro juvenil en España | Economía | EL PAÍS Merkel shows concern for high youth unemployment in Spain | Economy | El País
"El factor tiempo tiene su importancia", admitía Merkel. "Los resultados de las reformas estructurales tardarán dos, tres o cuatro años en verse y mientras nuestra tarea es ofrecer medidas transitorias hasta que las reformas surtan efecto", afirmó antes de alertar de que también pueden provocar inestabilidad política."The time factor matters," admitted Merkel. "The results of structural reforms will take two, three or four years to be seen and meanwhile our task is to provide transitional measures until reforms take effect," she stated before alerting on the risks of political instability.

Transitional measures? What could they be?

Eurointelligence commentary:

...Quoting unidentified EU sources, the paper writes that negotiations are under way to set up some type of aid program for the countries carrying out adjustment programs, which might be agreed by June.

(Now the EU gets ready to take some timid steps in the direction of fiscal stimulus by another name. And If and when this has a positive effect, they will claim that the structural reforms are working.)

In any event, this apparent concession seems to go against the general grain of Merkel's speech.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 25th, 2013 at 04:42:36 AM EST
And DW DE offers this plum:


Merkel calls on eurozone to hold firm at Davos | News | DW.DE | 24.01.2013

Merkel also alluded to tax evasion and avoidance, and regulation of the financial markets in her speech, saying she hoped the US would adopt new banking sector rules known as Basel III.

"In 2008 we were all unanimous that every financial institution and every country should be subject to clear rules. Now, we are far from that position," Merkel said.

Yes, Germany has refused to accept implementation of that principle. Do as I say, not do as I do.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 25th, 2013 at 05:04:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Merkel and the rest translated:

Look, we all know that the name of the game is differential accumulation. We can all see that this is going to leave increasing numbers of people destitute and deprived of any hope of a future. But what are we supposed to do about this. Stop trying to come out ahead in this brutal game? I think not!

We have to soldier on and do the best we can. Sure, it is hard knowing how so many people are suffering, but we can not let that affect our decision making. Nor can we imagine that we can change the nature of the game. That will certainly lead to greater calamity. Were we to loose control to the soft headed among us who knows where it would end. We might find ourselves right back where the US was in 1960 - at the height of national power, but with the position of the wealthy at its lowest ebb in thirty years. We must remember just how hard it has been to roll back all that had occurred under Roosevelt. It is far better to be working for the interests of wealth than against them. Let us never forget that.



As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jan 25th, 2013 at 09:39:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Blood, toil, tears, and sweat" is often misunderstood today. It's quoted as if the speaker were offering some of their own.

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Jan 25th, 2013 at 04:58:59 AM EST
We've been getting plenty of stick these last few years. Are our masters finally offering some carrot?

And why are they insisting we bend over?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Jan 25th, 2013 at 05:25:42 AM EST
Cheapest way for Germany to employ people in Southern Europe is to create some kind of assistance program paying something on the top of unemployment benefits paid by host country.
by Jute on Fri Jan 25th, 2013 at 05:46:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Europe needs a job guarantee, financed by central bank money.

Nothing else will do to avoid a lost generation.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 25th, 2013 at 10:05:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No. The stick will be re-painted orange.
by IM on Fri Jan 25th, 2013 at 12:36:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"adding that this would cause unacceptable damage to Germany's exporters."

Don't know. They would certainly look acceptable to me.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Jan 25th, 2013 at 06:55:41 AM EST
by Katrin on Fri Jan 25th, 2013 at 09:22:26 AM EST
Angie has an election to win in the fall.

If things start tanking between now and the summer, I would not be surprised to see a big U-turn.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Fri Jan 25th, 2013 at 09:23:48 AM EST
"Angie has an election to win in the fall."

Well, I know, The Prince and suchlike.
Sure, Machiavel was amoral. But I claim the right to make moral statements at times. Destroying an entire generation because you want to increase your election prospects is beyond vile, and certainly not worthy of a leader.

I hope history will be extremely severe towards her. This seems to be the only thing we can hope for at the moment, alas.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Jan 25th, 2013 at 11:19:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Rather a feint of a U-Turn.
by IM on Fri Jan 25th, 2013 at 12:43:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the meantime, a "European Youth Guarantee" proposal pushed by Employment Commissioner Laszlo Andor is progressing through the EU institutions. The European Parliament debated it over the past two weeks (see press release and links therein). In a later press release, the EP's Employment Committee quotes the draft committee's resolution that "A youth guarantee is not a job guarantee but an instrument ensuring that all young EU citizens receive a good-quality offer of employment, continued education or apprenticeship". A month earlier, Australian economist Bill Mitchell had blogged that "The Youth Guarantee has to be a Youth Job Guarantee", since
The overwhelming problem that I see with the Youth Guarantee proposal is that it seems to skirt around the main issue - a lack of jobs. It seems to be about full employability rather than full employment.
One can hope that eventually the EU will realise that not only the young, but the long-term unemployed and those with dependent children or parents also need a job guarantee. Maybe then the EU will get out of the depression.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 25th, 2013 at 10:09:12 AM EST

Even at $1.40, it won't hurt German exports to ROW, so who cares?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 25th, 2013 at 12:04:23 PM EST
"A youth guarantee is not a job guarantee but an instrument ensuring that all young EU citizens receive a good-quality offer of employment, continued education or apprenticeship".

Why, if every European governmental and business leader at Davos created just one paid internship available to all high school graduates they would have filled this requirement many, many times over. Perhaps they think that few will see the difference between employment and employability.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jan 25th, 2013 at 12:06:17 PM EST
what do you mean "paid"?
by IM on Fri Jan 25th, 2013 at 12:40:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is what makes the proposal SO generous.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jan 25th, 2013 at 09:24:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But while on the subject: Denial, panic and doubt in Davos - Guardian
First there was denial, then panic, then hope - now there is nagging concern this downturn simply won't come to an end

... Each year the consultancy firm PwC conducts a survey of the great and good of the business world. The message this year is that the improvement in sentiment seen in 2011 and 2012 has stalled. As far as business confidence is concerned there is a global double-dip recession.

... This is a recipe for continued economic torpor. Three things would help: fixing the banks, a reining back of austerity and a new social compact to ensure that productivity gains are once again shared by capital and labour.

by epochepoque on Fri Jan 25th, 2013 at 12:50:43 PM EST


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