Brigid Laffan is Brilliant

Posted: February 17, 2012 in Austerity, European Union

On February 15 UCD academic and European integration evangalist Professor Brigid Laffan offered some interesting views on the current state of the EU in an Irish Times op-ed piece. The central proposition of her article, even by her standards, was particularly amazing. Unfortunately the letters editor at the Irish Times wasn’t so impressed with my brief response, so I am posting it here just in case some else is.

A chara, Brigid Laffan’s argument (Opinion February 15) is quite simply brilliant.

The European Commission and European Central Bank are aggressively promoting austerity and bank-bailout policy prescriptions on Troika programme countries such as Greece, Portugal and Ireland. The European Council, driven in the main by Germany and France, are supporting the Commission and Central Bank in their efforts.

 The social and economic impact of these policies on citizens in the Eurozone periphery is generating deep seated anger. As a result the reputation of the EU is being undermined among a growing section of the very population it claims to serve.

So what is Professor Laffan’s solution to this conundrum? Let the IMF take the flack and maybe people won’t be so angry with the EU!

The problem with this argument is that it ignores the fact that the ECB are responsible for the aggressive bank-bailout end of the Troika programmes and the European Commission is responsible for the aggressive austerity being imposed on member states.

The EU institutions are taking the heat because they are responsible for the policies doing so much damage to the lives of people in Greece, Portugal and Ireland.

If Professor Laffan wants to see relations between citizens and EU institutions improve I suggest she starts arguing for a change of policy away from austerity and bank-bailouts and in favour of debt write downs and investment in economic stimulus – Is mise, Eoin O Broin, Clondalkin.

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