Germany and EU institutions have responded to the Great Recession inside the Eurozone by implementing austerity policies and authoritarian transfers of power to the supra-national level. This has dramatically reduced Germany's popularity in most Eurozone countries. A majority of the countries are currently governed by neoliberal political elites who favour anti-democratic and anti-social responses to the crisis. Without cooperating elites in the governments of Greece, Portugal, Spain and Ireland it would not have been possible to push austerity reforms through at the EU level.
The European Council, with Germany as its leading member, is currently about to enhance a neoliberal, authoritarian transformation of the EU. It was not only the former German conservative-liberal government which put pressure for radical austerity reforms throughout Europe. In this respect there has always been a consensus within the German political elite. A serious political shift at the EU or Eurozone level is not to be expected.
Thursday, 9 January 2014
Weak German opposition a concern for Eurozone
Germany has finally formed its next government. Steffen Stierle and Christoph Mayer write in the blog EUROPP of the London School of Economics and Political Science on what 2014 might hold in store for the rest of the Eurozone. They argue there is very little cause for optimism among those who support a change of direction in Germany’s European policy because the coalition holds a huge majority of seats and any effective opposition within the German Parliament will be extremely difficult.