Tackling Crisis in Europe: Deregulation and Privatization?
2011's Davos World Economic Forum marks a new stage on the debate for EU emergence from the crisis with important speeches by adversaries Angela Merkel and David Cameron.
Perhaps the key significant moment was a shift of rhetoric by both the German Chancellor and the UK PM towards a strong emphasis on growth and jobs, replacing the old austerity-only mantra.
Yet, deep divisions remain. Merkel wants to forge deeper political and economic integration within the EU, something that Cameron cannot be but averse to.
Merkel preaches "caution", Cameron praises "boldness."
Still, behind those important differences of vision that are likely to stall any swift developments within the EU, a deeper consensus remains.
It is of a rightist, or neoliberal, or however one likes to put it, nature.
And it further enfeebles the already weak position of the Party of European Socialists, whose main argument in the debate was "growth and jobs against austerity."
What are Cameron's and Merkel's methods to create growth?
The catchword of the UK PM's Davos World Economic Forum was "deregulation." In her Wednesday interview for Le Monde, the German Chancellor let the word slip - "privatization."
Two slogans of the Reagan-Thatcher era that set up the stage for the unprecedented growth of financial markets and paved the way to the present moment.
Do European leaders need a change of mindset?