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Cognitive dissonance November 17, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Well now, this is entertaining. The generally loathsome EU Commission sets the cat amongst the pigeons here by announcing EU states should increase spending! The response? As the IT says the government is ‘playing it down’. You bet.

The Department of Finance is ‘studying the commission’s statement’. Señor sources ‘were sceptical the change of policy would enable an expansion in public spending next year’. Ministers ‘reiterated the government’s position in the face of union demands’. And so on, and so forth.

One can almost write Stephen Collins latest contribution at the weekend.

But… or however, for there is a however… the IT notes:

However, the move in Brussels on Wednesday, allied to the commission’s generally positive assessment of the Irish economy, is likely to increase pressure on the Government when pay talks commence with the public sector trade unions.

We’re all in this together, until matters improve, or the commission slips a fraction away from the previously prevailing orthodoxy (and it must take responsibility for its part in shaping that orthodoxy).

Still, interesting the straws in the wind:

The centre-left Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group in the European Parliament welcomed the commission’s move as a “radical rupture from the past” and a “move away from austerity”.
It also applauded the commission’s decision not to punish Spain and Portugal for consistently missing budget targets – a move widely seen as a political response to the climate of growing euroscepticism in some countries.

Given how the S&Ds have hunted with the hounds and run with the hare here there and everywhere let’s not get too enthusiastic. But always nice to see the orthodoxy get a poke in the eye.


1. Gewerkschaftler - November 17, 2016

National governments have long played the game of blaming Brussels for their own austerian instincts and decisions, and are reaping the consequences.

The fiscal pact, for example, does not prevent a country from raising taxes and spending more as a result.

What it does do is prevent a country from borrowing (at these days paltry interest rates) to invest. This shortfall could be made up by the European Investment Fund, funded by European bond issuance, but this mechanism has also been blocked by national governments.


2. FergusD - November 17, 2016

Who is this “Señor sources”, a mysterious Spanish gentleman, the font of all knowledge!


Gewerkschaftler - November 17, 2016

He’s the cousin of Señor Sauces, the world-renowned Taco-chef.


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