Eurozone Dystopia
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Eurozone Dystopia

Groupthink and Denial on a Grand Scale

William Mitchell

Eurozone Dystopia traces the origin of the Eurozone and shows how the historical Franco-German rivalry combined with the growing dominance of neo-liberal economic thinking to create a monetary system that was deeply flawed and destined to fail. It argues that the political class in Europe is trapped in a destructive groupthink which prevents it from seeing their own policy failures. Millions are unemployed as a result and the member states are caught in a cycle of persistent stagnation and rising social instability.
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Chapter 16: European Groupthink: denial on a grand scale

William Mitchell

Extract

Before the crisis really hit Europe, the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, was more concerned about calls for protection from China by the Member States than the growing financial turmoil in world markets. He told the Financial Times in March 2008 that: We certainly have no intention at all of having some kind of European super-regulator . . . We think innovation in financial markets is good. It’s been good for financial institutions, business and consumers . . . Of course, we cannot be completely immune to the situation in America, but we think there is no rational reason to fear a recession in Europe. (Barber and Barber, 2008) It was early into his second five-year term as President and he was as wrong as he would ever be. The ‘sickly premature baby’, an epithet for the euro coined by Gerhard Schröder during the 1998 German Federal election campaign, had already experienced a difficult childhood. But at the time Barroso was exuding his normal political confidence, its very existence was at stake.

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