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Are the General Strikes in Europe today an investment rather than a cost?

The reactionaries will no doubt focus on passengers have missed flights as a consequence of today’s General strikes in Southern Europe.
They will divide the GDP of each country by 365 days and claim that that one day’s worth of Gross domestic product was “lost”.
They will ask: can we afford to lose this wealth in the middle of such a crisis.

To which we can respond by asking them to calculate:

a) the potential wealth-generation of half of the youth willing and able to work but unable to find a post
b) the potential GDP of 26% of Spain’s unemployed and the vast multiplier effects as each Euro earned changes hand several times
c) the continual loss in revenue by governments as they allow Multinationals to get away with not paying taxes
d) the health, psychological and social costs of cuts, loss of jobs and livelihoods and homes to live in caused by the current policies.

Whether the general strike is enough on its own or not, the fact that Greeks took to the streets meant that vulture bond holders had to take a severe haircut on their worthless bonds.
The more the fightback by Europe’s peoples, the more likely the governments will abandon this 1930’s era of Cuts and austerity for the majority and replace it with a 21st century strategy of creating decent jobs, reducing inequality and moving to an innovative, Green economy.
In that sense, strikes act as a long-term investment in the future of economies by attempting to stop the current madness.
Docility can no longer be the zeitgeist of this generation. Action and a call for an alternative way of thinking is fast becoming the dominant paradigm of the population.

Where is the luck of the Irish?

We forget that the Irish are still one of the largest diaspora over here.

For three reasons:

a) they are probably into four or more generations in

b) they are as ‘integrated’ as in America, no longer facing the indignity of the 1950s ‘ no blacks or Irish’ racist landlord taunts and also because

c) the Irish are equal partners in Europe and temporarily surpassed the UK in economic prosperity….. allowing many to either go back or buy property there.

I wonder how many are now shaking their heads. The hangover after the party. Of course, many were not able to take part in that artificial debt-induced boom and remained in London and England, some still in poverty.

At least there was pride. Now the Celtic Tiger has been bloodied and has been defanged by the IMF and Germans… & the ‘kind’ George Osborne ‘helping out a friend (his friends in this case being RBS and Lloyds).

Luck for now does not favour the Irish. The ruling class  bought the neo-liberal Americanisation/globalisation mantra and became a low-tax platform for pharmaceuticals and IT, buttressed by a ridiculous property boom.

That elite still wants to keep its ‘USP‘ – the 12% corporation tax rate compared to 28% in the UK and 30% in Germany.

Just where do they see any foreign investment coming from now? Why should they bother? The boom is over, the people are being made broke, the consumer is going to dig in and slash its credit cards.

A huge budget deficit is automatic if you don’t raise money from the big corporates. It’s upside economics.

Some Irish will be lucky… the carpetbaggers will sweep up the ‘assets’ at rock-bottom prices pretty soon…

I wonder if Bono has stopped ‘saving Africa’ with his Red American Express Card ventures, and would step into help his compatriots… oh I forgot, U2  left a long time ago and decamped to Amsterdam ……

Actually, the luck could get worse if the great sunglassed One went over to give us his chapter and verse…. Bono, bog off….. ….

The Irish don’t need songs, luck or the IMF. They need to find some Greens who really are Green and the ‘progressive Left’ (if there is any) who admit that the caravan has to stop…. it has to change direction and even start from scratch.

A Green Tiger… not likely… the gormless Gormley put paid to that idea…. the Irish version of the Green Flag lies on the ground…. tattered, torn and tarnished.

Do you have a German Euro or another Euro in your pocket?

Euros all look the same. Look closely. They are not.The serial numbers are different.

German Euros are not the same as Euros in France or Spain or Italy. If the Euro does break up, it’s the German ones which will probably soar in value when they are converted into a new Deutschmark.

How much money does Angela Merkel have in ‘her’ Euro fund to fight off the bond markets…… €750 billion. After Portugal is trashed by the markets and the foreign banks (with Portuguese debt) bailed out, half of that will have gone. If Greece suffers another round of problems (it will), and Ireland (after failing to ram through its budget cuts) and the big one, Spain, then the moment of truth will arrive:

Do Germans agree to put in more money to the Euro fund and allow a €2 trillion Euro QE to ‘save’ the Euro, its banks and the European project?

Probably not.

In that scenario, just like John Major did, one or two ‘peripheral countries’ may quit the straitjacket of Euroland… how long can they accept 20% or more unemployment and the coming social strife?

They are talking of Euro-North and Euro-South (where Ireland is a Southern country, yes bond traders aren’t that clued up on geography)… they should say Real Euro and Euro or Euro1 and Euro2.

This would mean that everyone except Germany, Holland and maybe France would hold Euro1 – perhaps 25% stronger than Euro2.

This would be a devaluation for those economies who cannot compete with Germany’s high technology industries.

Do you remember when Gordon Brown and the New Labour government used to scoff at Germany’s ‘malaise’…? Gordon, where are you now?

There are lots of things wrong in Germany but at least they have a 21st century manufacturing industry.

Essentially, by all holding the current Euro, the rest of Europe cannot stand the pace when they lose the ability to devalue their currencies (to make their products relatively cheaper).

There may be another scheme in all this… New York does not want the Euro eclipsing the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency….

So the future for a German note (Euro or otherwise) looks solid, like Swiss Francs. As for the rest, the ‘other Euro’  could be as valuable as ‘Harold Wilson’s pound in your pocket’… they will be worth less, a lot less.

What then happens to sterling? It has devalued by 30% but still not produced an export revival. How can it? Where is the manufacturing industry? In a couple of years down the road, sterling may dip even further, a lot further as it attempts to stay ‘competitive’……. #

If you want to see Berlin, do it the next 24 months….. after that, it will be Auf Wiedersehn.. The Deutsche Bahn trains trundling into St Pancras will be for German passengers coming over here…… a bit like Californians going into Mexico….. for a cheap shopping spree.