Citing latest survey evidence, European think-tank Bruegel argues that trust in the EU and satisfaction with democracy are returning in southern European countries, where citizens’ confidence in European institutions was dented during the crisis years.
Personally, I live in Southern Europe and struggle with the conclusion that trust is returning. After an unnecessarily prolonged period of austerity, with related economic and social pain, I accept that Europe is recovering economically. For me, trust cannot recover until Germany removes her stranglehold on the Euro and related EU fiscal management. I accept that President Macron’s election in France is a positive sign.
A whole generation of young people in Southern Europe have been permanently scarred by prolonged unemployment. Southern Europe did not receive a Marshall Plan from the troika of the IMF, ECB and the EU. In the end EU financial policy came to the aid of French and German banks rather than creating growth in Southern Europe.
Southern Europe still need powerful economic help. From a related blog on on US foreign in Afghanistan, we learn that US funding for Afghanistan vastly exceeded US investment in Germany with the Marshall Plan after WWII. So when will the central bankers and the IMF face up to the need for massive investment in Southern Europe, like for example, infrastructure investment to support the distribution of offshore natural gas in the territorial waters of Cyprus?
Let ask an open question:
Have you seen any evidence of a European Spring?