Jean Lievens: How Austerity Has Crippled Europe

03 Economy, Corruption, Government, Ineptitude
Jean Lievens
Jean Lievens

How Austerity Has Crippled the European Economy – In Numbers

Thomas Fazi, Social Europe, 31 March 2016

Europe’s post-crisis response – consisting of a combination of fiscal austerity, neoliberal structural reforms and expansionary monetary policies – has unambiguously failed. In early 2016 – eight years after the outbreak of the financial crisis – the eurozone’s overall real GDP was still below the pre-crisis peak (March 2008). The Greek economy was 27.6 per cent smaller. Spain’s was 4.5 per cent smaller. Portugal’s was 6.5 per cent smaller. Even those countries with above-average eurozone growth were not performing very well: Germany, for example, was only 5.5 per cent larger than it was in March 2008, while France was only 2.7 per cent larger. Meanwhile, most of the world has returned to, or surpasses, pre-crisis GDP levels.