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Which recession ended?
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-11-14 11:01:59
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Sometimes when I read about the recession or better about the recession’s recovery in the euro-zone I’m really wandering where they get that and how they are coming with those figures. I mean I look at all those stats and figures and I have to admit that they make sense somehow and I have to admit that they show that the bad days for the euro-zone are over and better days are coming but when I turn to where I live I see scared faces for a doubtful future.

I live in Finland and a lot of my friends naturally live in Greece with another lot living in England, France and Germany; most of them are past their career’s prime, they have established themselves in their professions and some of them have their own business, so I have a wide cycle that lives in this euro-zone, work and live the recession or the recovery of the recession. Well all of them feel like they have entered a tunnel, a very dark tunnel and they cannot see a way out. And that’s not the usual nagging; some of them have serious financial problems.

The last two years in Finland I have seen myself tens of business closing down or shrinking due to the financial crisis. A lot of companies, well the majority of the companies have done lay offs the last two years trying to prevent the damage the recession was going to bring them and even though the media keep talking about the end of the crisis I haven’t seen any rehiring the fired, on the contrary more companies – including the state radio-television company YLE – continue the lay offs with the recession as their excuse.

A friend of mine who owned a very healthy computers company is driving a taxi today trying to deal with his personal expenses and of course the first to be seriously hit from that recession were the immigrants, the immigrants that were already seriously suffering of unemployment – and I suppose this is a euro-zone phenomenon and not only Finnish.

The paper industry in Finland continues the lay offs with Nokia following lately and as I said before the same time YLE was talking about recovery was lay off people. And this is not only in Finland, I know from my friends that things are not different in England, in France and Germany and you just need to look at the news ad the blogs to realize that the rest of the euro-zone countries are in the same situation. So the problem is not if the euro-zone is recovering but who in the euro-zone is recovering and as far as I can see the only ones who are recovering are the industrialists and the bankers of the euro-zone.

And I’m sorry if I will sound populist, but what recovery from the recession means for the European industrialists and bankers? That after two years they will be able to buy a new Lamborghini or they will be able to replace their three years old Mercedes?

Looking more carefully all those figures I noticed that they are talking about the heavy industry, about banks and investing companies and they are talking about profits. But the same figures don’t include the people who lost their jobs; they are not talking about the people who barely survive with their income and the small businesses that have become extension endangered species in Europe. And yes Ms Merkel keeps saying that the only way to recover from the crisis is to boost the industry and the banks but she never tells us what will happen with the increasing number of families that live under the level of dignity.

Numbers don’t have soul and they don’t understand the hard reality of the people in euro-zone but it is like this myth with Marie Antoinette, when they told her that people are starving in the streets she answered … “Let them eat cake!”  What happen to her soon after is well known. And this time is not only the food missing but it is also the dignity which stolen with pompous announcements like “recession’s recovery.” So, which recession is over, the bankers and industrialists recession or the people’s recession?

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Emanuel Paparella2009-11-14 12:25:00
The comments placed under today's commemorative piece on the Crime Syndicate apply here too. When the mafia does it it is called crime, when the bankers, the stock financial agents and the politicians do it, it is called business. Business as usual. Perhaps a Darwinian savage capitalism unmindful of the common good needs a second hard look at that dares to be brutally frank? Or perhaps things have to get much worst before they get any better. Indeed, there is crime, and there is crime.

ap2009-11-14 20:54:49


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