In October last year, Irish premier Enda Kenny announced another round of austerity cuts in the government’s (read: Troika’s) budget for 2014. Among many other things, health costs will soar, medical cards will be withdrawn from 35,000 people over 70, welfare rates will be cut for job seekers, and maternity benefits will be reduced.
The results are plainly visible for all to see. In Ireland, as in Spain, the poverty rate keeps rising, opportunity becomes a thing of the past for more and more young workers, the brain drain continues its onward march, the suicide rate is going up and public services are gradually deteriorating to the point where they no longer serve the public — cue: privatisation.
Ditto for Portugal, ditto for Italy, and the less said about the tragic fate of Greece, the better. Soon, even Europe’s core countries will be invited to join the eternal race to the bottom.