Op/Ed –  Podemos …

Op/Ed –  Podemos …


By Nikos Kaliakoudas – Economist

The movements that have been starting to surface in recent months prescribe a different political map of Europe. The movement Podemos (we can) in Spain, that took the lead in the polls, the lead of the left and progressive forces, recorded in our country, but also the dynamics that are starting to develop to other countries (Italy, Belgium, etc.) “open” a different political scenery in the continent. A recent analysis of the Financial Times says: “the key players today are not the international investors, but the insurgents voters likely to vote a new generation of leaders, as opposed to the policy of austerity applied to the eurozone, which is proving to be most ineffective”.

The reestablishment of the structure of the European Union and the restoration of its principles and values are essential now more than ever! The Protestant punitive logic promoted by the German neoliberalism leads to policies of austerity and the shrinking economies, resulting in unemployment, poverty and the widening of inequalities. The obsessions of Germany and its collaborators have created deadlocks. In the countries of the South, the “misery index” takes alarming features!

This policy, is far from the European policy in favor of the people. It doesn’t even come close to the visions of its founders, on common interests and common goals. This policy “pushes” Europe in spurting extreme political and social events, exacerbate geopolitical behavior, but also the development of separatist and nationalistic tendencies. All this is the outcome of a world and a Europe without orientation, stability and a clear focus!

But is there room for a different policy? Many political figures, movements and collectives, but also business schools, Nobel laureates and intellectuals (Stiglitz and others) suggest a different way, which will be based on actual development, away from the financial and bank-centric model, which dominated all these years. The real development can generate wealth and create surpluses, which in turn will support the welfare state and the structures of health and education, which is indispensable in a modern society. But developing economies require liquidity and low borrowing rates, which the Germans and their followers are not allowing.

The over taxation policy that is applied, results in the even greater shrinkage of markets and productive sectors of the economies. It is an ineffective policy that drives the economy in a vicious circle of recession.

We can try for another Europe! Maybe it’s time for the alliance of nations that are on the other “riverbank”, which will set the political and economic context of another hegemony in European affairs. A political process that will aims to the person, the welfare and solidarity of the people for a balanced development and convergence of economies.