Football economy

The economy "is like a football game" according to Antonio López-Istúriz, Secretary-General of the European Peoples Party (EPP). "This is the market economy, this is the free market economy and then you have a referee that controls that there is a fair play. That the game is playing with rules, to have the rules clear for all the participants. This is social market economy."

“We believe that part of what is gained from a free market economy, one in which we do not intervene, self-regulated to see that fair play is observed… We believe that this economy will generate profits that will be passed along to address social questions.”

The problem with capitalists is that they blindly believe that the "referee" is somehow always ready to ensure fair play. Thus there is no need for intervention. The fundamental problem, however, is that this "referee" is the root cause of the financial crisis: he did not ensure fair play, rather he was wholly absent for far too long. Besides, how can López-Istúriz speak so highly of non-intervention when capitalist governments all over Europe were so quick to bail out their own failures?

It would be suicidal for the European economy to be left wholly in the hands of the free market as the EPP so desires. They speak of 'social market economy' now but the they will change tack as soon as world economy gains some form of stability.

Unfortunately, the PES is destined to remain second best and Barroso to remain Commission President. Some hope remains in Socialist-Communist-Green unity in the European Parliament, whose powers are set to grow further with the Lisbon Treaty.

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One Response to Football economy

james debono said...

How far should the state intervene in an economy? That is a question that most social democratic parties find hard to answer. In this sense the EPP is more clear. We cannot ignore the fact that Britian has been government by social democrats for the past decade. And while they succeeded in becoming hegemonic by improving living standards and enhancing some civil rights, they were not exactly keen on regulation.
The hard left might also leave a mark in this election because they can vent popular anger without giving any concrete alternatives.
The Greens in my opinion are a step ahead as they have a vision of putting people before markets by empowering communities and using the fiscal system to penalise speculation.
The idea of a green new deal is the most innovative in this election. But still they lack the appeal of a mass party which can change things and they do not necessarily fit in a left-right logic as demonstated by alliances with conservatives in Ireland, Hamburg and Finland. Not to mention eastern europe where the greens have an antipathy for the social democratic sucessors of post communist parties.
Sinistra e liberta in Italy is an interesting laboratory of cooperation between social democrats, reformist communists and greens (led by the charismatic Vendola) but i dount whether they will surpass the 4% treshold.

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