The BBC will be rejoicing…Lithuania wants to join the Euro.
No wonder some sceptics will say, as they get 25% of their national budget handed to them on a plate by the EU.
But there is always a little rain cloud on the horizon that will take some explaining for the BBC.
The BBC likes to tell us that the economy is failing due to austerity…sometimes they take the subtle approach and expect you to pick up the cues by inference, dropping a knowing comment about austerity hamstringing ‘Europe’s’ economy…but occasionally they go for the jugular as Evan Davis did and openly admit their prejudices….claiming that Austerity is killing the patient here in the UK.
So I wonder what they will make of this, if anything….every chance they will ignore it completely…radical austerity resulting in a return to growth:
Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite explains that austerity is merely a question of political will:
Grybauskaite: There is not one rule you can apply to every state. In the Baltic states, after 2009 we had to implement very radical austerity measures. In Lithuania, we consolidated 12 percent of GDP in two years. We cut public salaries by 20 percent and pensions by 10 percent. Our adjustment was a lot deeper than what we see now in Southern Europe. And we saw growth return after 2 years.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: So Barroso is wrong?
Grybauskaite: Some countries need extra stimulus in specific areas. Something has to be done against high youth unemployment in Greece and Spain, for example. But in the end, there is no way around it: The debt levels have to come down.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: You say that reducing public debt is mainly about political will. Where do you see this will lacking in Europe?
Grybauskaite: I won’t name countries, but reforms could be quicker in many parts. There are different mentalities and different ideas about political responsibility in the North and the South.
Not far enough, not fast enough?….not sure Ed Balls will go for it…or Evan Davis for that matter.