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In this article, the author analyses the Euro crisis by taking a look at Spain and fiercely criticises European conservatives’ obsessive focus on austerity, a trend that is inevitably leading the old continent towards a state of Neo-Eurosclerosis.
By David J. Franco, 4 Jan, 2012
European politics is a tough game: on the one hand, there is the political struggle in which parties seek to win a domestic electorate with old-fashioned programs relating to the level of state intervention, economic growth, and social integration and protection. Here the talk is usually centred on taxes, employment, state regulation, and welfare programs. On the other hand, European integration and monetary union are forcing member states to strengthen their positions in an attempt to resist challenges to state sovereignty. Here the talk is usually centred on fighting back transnational forces and financial markets, enhancing national identity, and resisting the transference of sovereignty. Hence, political parties find themselves in the odd situation of having to win two battles: one with a domestic electorate, and one with the effects of European integration. Three battles if we include the struggle against financial markets that do not seem to respect boundaries of any sort. The 2008 economic crisis and subsequent sovereign debt crisis and crisis of the euro have only exacerbated these trends. The case of Spain comes in handy here.