Depending on your point of view, the results on austerity are in. The roll call European countries with shrunken economies, mired in recession, is identical to the list of European countries yoked to austerity economics — Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Spain, Greece (of course), and now the UK. Those countries are experiencing varying degrees of public reaction against austerity policies. In Prague, Czechs staged the biggest demonstrations their country has seen since the fall of communism, in protest of the austerity measures and corruption in Czech Republic's center-right government. In France, president Sarkozy now faces a runoff, after elections that were a reaction against austerity. In the Netherlands, the prime minister resigned after EU austerity demands caused the government to collapse. In Romania, the government has collapsed in a no-confidence vote after violent protests against austerity toppled its prime minister in February.
Does the latest wave of uprisings finally sound the death knell for austerity? Not if austerians stay the course, and don't get spooked by protests in the streets and at the ballot box. If their protests have no impact, and austerity happened anyway, people will go home. They'll forget about solidarity, worry more about survival, and arrive at the next phase of austerity's impact on their lives.
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