THE people of Europe (or at least some of them) have spoken, enough of government cuts and austerity. France has a new President, Greece saw the rise of splinter parties opposed to further cuts, British voters gave Prime Minister David Cameron a clear warning in the local elections and even in the Balearics protests are continuing over government plans to close two hospitals. Four years into recession and Europeans have had enough. Austerity is not working, they say. In some ways they are right, but in others they are mistaken. There is no short term fix to the European debt crisis. Spain will not recover until at least 2014 with more economic bad news to come as the government battles to reduce the enormous budget deficit. But we are all becoming slightly austerity weary... Things don´t seem to get better but worse. I think everybody understands that cuts are needed but I think it is also a question of when will it end. The massive European cuts have so far not delivered European economic growth, just more unemployment and unrest. In Spain taxes have risen and the government has plans to increase VAT by four percent in the New Year, effectively meaning that the austerity drive will continue for many months to come. I understand the voters in France, Britain and Greece; I also applaud the efforts of hospital staff in the Balearics. All I would say that don´t expect miracles. Austerity is with us for years!
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