Belmont Club

New Europe

Nicolas Sarkozy put things in the most upbeat way. We’re in a new age because the old era didn’t work so good. The French President said the introduction of 35-hour week and retirement at 60 years of age were “serious mistakes”.

Everybody has had to make an effort, everybody has had to make a sacrifice. Look at the situation, look at what happened to the countries that did not take measures, did not make reforms. Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Ireland. They were forced to lower salaries and lower pensions at the same time as raising taxes.

I’m asking you today to look at where we’re coming from and what’s been accomplished in the last three years. It’s been a genuine revolution that’s begun. Nothing will be the same as before, all the financial aspects of our life. Today fear has come back, this fear that destroys confidence, that stops investors from investing. The crisis has not finished.

The problem is that those danged banks loaned government money! Why if only they hadn’t.

All economies became totally under the mechanism of finance, the speculative logic. We’ve seen how it’s affected industry. Also how it’s degraded the value of work. We can no longer go into debt. We cannot create larger and larger debt. Because those that lend to us no longer want to lend to us. Now we have to begin a new economic cycle, a new age.

A new age under the current management.

The situation had put the fear of God — the fear of Marx, the fear of something — into European leaders. The Belgians finally formed a government after 535 days without one to deal with the Eurozone crisis. And it’s over according to Ambrose Evans Pritchard, who writes, “printing money can halt Europe’s crisis”.

President Sarkozy is seeking a new treaty which will give the EU more power to order the economic affairs of the nations on the theory that the problem wasn’t that Brussels could tinker with the individual countries, but that it couldn’t tinker enough. A new era under old management.

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