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So goes the myth (I do not know if it is true, probably IS) that that gold was mostly bought during the Salazar time (our 20th century fascist dictator).

This is where narrative and myth start to become very dangerous: if we have to sell that gold, more and more voices will start suggesting that "in that time" things were much better managed (nevermind appalling statistics about infant mortality, poverty, class divide, war in Africa or lack of "less efficient" freedom of speech and democracy). I think we are on a dangerous path in regards to the construction of the myth of "the better government framework". Many people (right and left) already talk about how things were "well managed" at that time.

Beware the power of myths.

  1. Get the Euro
  2. Surrender sovereignty and get humiliated
  3. Forego democracy. Formal democracy at least, because informal one is currently being destroyed as we speak
by cagatacos on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 09:45:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See my Barroso to plebes: nice indebted democracy you have there... (June 17th, 2010)
"I had a discussion with Barroso last Friday about what can be done for Greece, Spain, Portugal and the rest and his message was blunt: 'Look, if they do not carry out these austerity packages, these countries could virtually disappear in the way that we know them as democracies. They've got no choice, this is it'."


Economics is politics by other means
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 10:04:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I actually think both perspectives (in the piece you link) are "correct". These are perilous times.

Anyone here read "The Fourth Turning"? If yes, would like to share an opinion? It seems applicable to this post (A good match for the "Until..." section).

Actually one of the fundamental reasons I started writing with a pseudonym comes from the doubt that democracy and freedom of speech are currently stable.

by cagatacos on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 10:40:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
writing with a pseudonym

Possibly also a good move professionally.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat May 7th, 2011 at 10:04:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interestingly it seems that around here the government department that seems to have more problems paying salaries is... defence (which includes part of the de facto police, the one that acts in small cities and rural areas).

It is exactly the group that you DO NOT want to stop paying salaries: those with guns.

Up to now only a delay of one day on salary payments (and today a complaint from the police top official that there are cash flow problems).

by cagatacos on Sat May 7th, 2011 at 11:57:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Surprise, surprise!

So goes the myth in Greece, too, that we had no public debt in 1974 (the day our junta fell). Which is of course true, but it had nothing to do with good management. Apart of poverty and inequalities we had nothing of everything else,too, (no roads, no electricity and drinkable water in many rural areas, no health system, no social security and low living standards).
And there is some kind of nostalgia, surprisingly not only by the hard right but also from some left intellectuals,too, for the 1953-74 period of the so-called high growth (but also high inequalities, junta and lame democracy).

Someone should open a diary on junta nostalgia by the periphery Euro elites.

"Eurozone leaders have turned a 50bn Greek solvency problem into a 1,000bn existential crisis for the European Union." David Miliband

by Kostis Papadimitriou on Tue May 10th, 2011 at 08:46:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As long as Franco was shut out of the International Community (up to ca. 1955) Spain was all about autarchy.

Economics is politics by other means
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 10th, 2011 at 08:54:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Someone should open a diary on junta nostalgia by the periphery Euro elites.
Maybe you could make that your first ET diary...

Economics is politics by other means
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 10th, 2011 at 08:55:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you replace Greece with Portugal, it is exactly the same (even the year).

If we are forced to put gold (aka, "Salazar's gold") as collateral for extra EU "help", that will entail a massive narrative shift, I believe (from simple nostalgia to maybe active preference for the old times).

yuck.

by cagatacos on Tue May 10th, 2011 at 03:48:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
National debt was no big issue in Sweden before ca 1980. Was it anywhere? I smell a shift in narrative.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Tue May 10th, 2011 at 04:36:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yup
For at least the last 30 years, and definitely since the Reagan/Thatcher revolution got going, a frequent mantra of right wing politics has been that "the state must be run like a private firm". In the Europe in the 1990s the right wing, enabled by third-way social democrats, managed the spectacular feat of structuring the Eurozone around rules that make it all but impossible to run the state in any other way, to the point that Zapatero now freely admits and preaches that the state needs to fund itself in the capital markets (or borrowing from other states) and that in order to access credit it has to be thrifty. So the fourth largest Eurozone member state must run its financial affairs just like a private firm, or a local government, and this is the message coming from a Social-Democratic leader. How the mighty have fallen.


Economics is politics by other means
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 10th, 2011 at 04:38:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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