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Super Mario and the True Meaning of Austerity

Posted on Nov 23, 2011 by Sandy Finlayson  |

I was very impressed at the speed with which the Italian Government finally managed to write Mr Berlusconi into the history books and to appoint his successor. Many will think that Super Mario now has the most important job in Europe to stop Italy suffering the same fate as Greece and we must all wish him well in his endeavours. 

“Merkozy” must now realise that they are confronted with a bad option (saving the Euro) and a dreadful option (letting it fail). It is time for them to show the leadership required to stop the dreadful option being thrust upon them by the financial markets.

I have been reading Max Hasting’s latest tome “All Hell was Let Loose” about the effects of the second world war on ordinary people.  During the siege of Leningrad as many as two and a half million Russians and a million Germans either froze to death or died of starvation and cannibalism was commonplace in the besieged city. People across the world suffered the most dreadful deprivation. In more recent times Chairman Mao managed to starve at least twenty four million (and possibly as many as forty million) of his countrymen to death during the Great Leap Forward. In his quest to acquire nuclear arms from Stalin he simply gave away the wheat harvest to the Russians. That is real austerity!

The European Coal and Steel community was originally established in 1952 as a treaty between France and Germany to try and ensure that the people of Europe never again went to war or went hungry and the European Community itself was established by the Treaty of Rome in 1958.

While everyone in Europe is feeling bruised by the winds of recession, we should perhaps be grateful that the founding principles of the European treaties – to prevent war and famine – have so far held firm in Europe.

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