The gloomy European project
I don't know for how long, but if you go here now you can get for free the papers of the symposium at Contributions to Political Economy, by Pivetti, Sawyer, Palley, Varoufakis, Barba and De Vivo, Boyer, Bibow, and Singh and his co-authors. Pivetti notes in his introduction that:
"The austerity policies of the last five years can hardly be regarded as a true policy shift. They should rather be seen as a continuum with respect to the entire European Monetary Union (EMU) experience, to whose overall policy stance they just contribute a toughening up. Ever since the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992, and even more from the birth in 1999 of the European Central Bank (ECB) as a monet- ary authority, the average rate of growth of real income in the Euro area has been very low by historical standards, contributing to the persistence of the area high levels of unemployment, largely as a result of the inflation rate having been the ECB’s overriding policy objective."Note that the austerity imposed on almost every European country is part of a larger project of dismantling the Welfare State. In fact, Pivetti refers to the Euro as: "the infernal machine: a machine born out of a deliberate continental project to undermine wage earners’ bargaining powers."
If you can, given the topic, enjoy these great and penetrating papers!