Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Paper by EU Economist Backs Austerity’s Critics

by Matina Stevis

Wall Street Journal

October 22, 2013

Coordinated austerity in euro-area countries has stifled economic recovery and deepened the crisis across the currency bloc, according to a new technical paper prepared by an economist at the European Commission.

Spending cuts in Germany in particular have made things worse for the weaker members of the euro area through “spillovers” – the economic impact on economies connected to Germany’s– the paper says, adding that limited stimulus programs in richer countries could help the whole of the currency bloc.

The paper, which doesn’t necessarily represent the views of the powers-that-be at the Commission, presents some inconvenient conclusions for European authorities from one of their own economists. The European Union and national governments have come under fire from outside economists for pursuing austerity across the euro zone. These critics have argued that Germany in particular should be running bigger deficits to help drag the bloc’s weaker members out of their slumps.


Read the Paper (PDF)

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