In this week’s edition of The Network, Chris Burns looks at rising anger across Europe as government after government imposes austerity measures.
With EU unemployment at 10 percent Europe’s leaders are caught in a squeeze between angry electorates and fickle financial markets driven by merciless ratings agencies. Recent ratings downgrades, including against France, have further deepened a crisis already complicated by faltering talks on Greek debt financing.
The EU is struggling to boost its financial rescue provisions and enact reform to avoid the next crisis. EU leaders disagree on just how tough a European stability should be on deficit plagued countries. The leaders are also aiming at financial services reform, including a tax on transactions, critics say that and other reforms could drive investors from Europe, especially London’s financial centre, but after London was hit hard last year by public anger spilling into the streets even the Conservative government there is eyeing banking reform.
Now wired into this edition of The Network, here at the European parliament in Brussels is German MEP Markus Ferber, a member of Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, he also sits on the parliamentary economic and monetary affairs committee.
From London, Louise Cooper, markets analyst at BGC partners who says the fiscal compact European leaders want does not actually deal with the crisis.
And Dominique Pilhon, economics professor at the University of Paris and a member of ATACK, that is the Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions for the Aid of Citizens. He supports the proposed Tobin tax on financial transactions.