Article originally published in Red Pepper on 21 May, 2012
If there is anyone left doubting that the struggle against austerity is fundamentally a struggle for democracy, the chilling proposal of former European Central Bank chief Jean-Claude Trichet on how to solve the eurocrisis unveiled on Thursday, should quickly put paid to such overly microscopic focus.
Trichet has proposed what he calls ‘federation by exception,’ whereby if a country’s leaders or parliament ‘cannot implement sound budgetary policies,’ that country will be ‘taken into receivership’.
Recognising that it would not be possible in the timescale necessary to respond to the crisis to deliver a fully-fledged United States of Europe with the associated political and fiscal union, including fiscal transfers and common debt issuance, the former ECB president, who left office last November, said this ‘next step’ can at least be taken. Continue reading →