Friday, April 27, 2012
Want EU and Eurozone growth? Then ...
Markit data for Germany, France and Italy for April shiowed in all 4 surveyed post lower sales, with record decline in France. UK is recession again, based on GDP on Q4 of 2011 and Q1 of 2012. The situation in Greece, Spain, Portugal is also well known.
And while there seems to be a a shift in the dynamics of austerity (see my April 19 post), in my opinion, what the EU and the Eurozone need, for growth, is a neither Merkelian austerity nor good old Keynesian spending, but a combination of:
a) Curbing of over-legislation at national and EU levels (polynomia) and the resulting red tape that suffocates EU and Eurozone firms, especially the SMEs (exception from curbs: some sectors including the Financial one which actually needs heavier EU legislation-regulation even w/o G20 agreement)
That does not cost a lot of money, but requires lots of work.
b) Raising the trade walls of the EU by art at least a few meters. No need to go chasing growth via exports to the other 4 continents (especially given the narrow scope of WTO rules) when the EU has 500,000,000 at home and the Eurozone 330,000,000 (more than the USA). Abandon the WTO in favour of bilateral agreements with China, ASEAN, USA, Brazil or Mercosur, India, etc (agreements that include not only trade and other econ but econ immigration as well, etc)
c) Revamping of the Fiscal Coimpact, removing fixed and sclerotic targets and increase the co-operation of EU and EZ economic policies w/o transfer of sovereignty. Based on targets that are realistic given the global and European conditions.
d) Spending for growth, but wisely and within reason, probably less than you would be required without (a) and (b).
Part of my above post I also posted as commentary to the 27 April 2012 "Plan B for the Eurozone – it's not what you might hope for" article in The Deep End of Conservative Home.