This morning on Morning Ireland there was an interesting interview with Ollie Rehn, the EU commissioner for economic affairs. He dismissed the notion of coordinated austerity as being a problem, dismissed the ruination of the social compact, and generally displayed a chilly technocratic aloofness that shows the paucity of leadership we have now. He even invoked confidence fairies in regard to Italy…. He was asked repeatedly what was the aim of the continued austerity programme, now that we had some headroom from the “resolution” of the anglo promissory notes. He, not surprisingly, rejected the calls for slowing down of the process. He repeatedly stressed that the aim here was to enable Ireland to “return to the markets”, in other words to exit the troika programme and to borrow on our own account.
On his webpage he states his aim as “The first and foremost priority for me as Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs is growth and jobs, in the context of macroeconomic stability. He is head of the economic and monetary affairs in the Commission, who state “DG ECFIN reports to the Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, Olli Rehn. It strives to improve the economic wellbeing of the citizens of the European Union”
In his interview Ollie shows he simply doesn’t understand his brief. It is NOT an aim to get back to borrowing. That is a tool to enable a state to fund itself. Other tools include tax, transfers, the sale of natural and other resources, pillage and foreign aid. In elevating a tool to the status of aim Ollie shows the final capitulation of the EU under its FANGS hegemony to being simply a tool for the financial system. Perhaps he should read the preamble to the Treat of Rome which states
AFFIRMING as the essential objective of their efforts the constant improvement of the living and working conditions of their peoples
Right now its hard to see how this is being achieved.