Sunday, November 17, 2013

European Debt Crisis contributes to changing dynamic between Europe and Latin America

In her November 8 COHA article Latin America Extends Helping Hand to Europe (reprinted by Eurasia Review), Olga Imbaquingo provides interesting and in-depth counterpoint to recent opinions expressed by Fox News Political Commentator Charles Krauthammer about the causes of the European Debt Crisis.  While Krauthammer ascribed causation to expensive social support programs that exist in many European nations, Imbaquingo points out that Germany's economy has been doing great in recent years exporting manufactured goods to the rest of Europe.  Germany, like the Netherlands and Nordic countries Denmark, Norway and Sweden, has some of the strongest social support programs in Europe.  Similarly, while the Netherlands has adopted austerity measures in the last couple of years, the country still has a strong social safety net and Dutch unemployment during the financial crisis hovered around 7.5%, reaching a record high of 8.1% in May of this year.  Imbaquingo points to mismanagement of public administration, political corruption, poor tax collection and U.S.-style debt-fueled economic growth as root causes for high unemployment and economic crisis in trouble EU nations - not social welfare.  Imbaquingo also highlights the trend of migration of professionals from Spain and other southern EU nations to Latin America for work, as well as implementation of educational and labor market programs in Argentina and Ecuador to increase scientific innovation and high quality high tech employment.