September, 2011

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The European debt crisis and the media

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Here is an article I wrote for the Writers’ Guild of Alberta newsletter.

European debt crisis and the media

As I write this, European Union (EU) leaders and financial elites are meeting in Brussels to discuss a “rescue plan” for Greece which appears certain to default on its €340 billion dollar debt. Over the past several months, the mainstream media has focused primarily on the complex financial solutions being proposed by these powerful elites in order to bailout Greece, often portrayed as the poor kid of Europe and an incompetent spendthrift. At this point, the plan appears to allow for some form of selective default while shoring up the banks and preventing contagion to the so-called “PIIGS” of the EU periphery – Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland. The ongoing mantra reported in the mainstream press is that the eurozone must not only be preserved but strengthened at all cost lest further defaults occur. Reporters are keen to remind us that if they do occur, Europe – and the world – could be thrown into another deep recession similar to the one that followed the 2008 global credit crash.  In the end, the taxpayers will take the brunt of it in the form of ongoing debt payments and more austerity measures.

How did it come to this? How did the debt get so out of control? And who is to blame? If you follow the corporate media, especially the financial media, you get a very different story than what’s reported in the alternative press, and by progressive economists, analysts, and activists.

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