Richard Brennerman: Democratic constitutions designed to thwart a resurgence of fascism are getting in the way of all that austerian reconstruction, says JP Morgan's Europe Economic Research department.
The problem with all those constitutions is that they empower the populace, define limits to central power, and allow for those damnably inconvenient public protests.
Consider these excerpts fromThe Euro area adjustment: about halfway there by JP Morgan's Malcolm Barr and David Mackie:
At the start of the crisis, it was generally assumed that the national legacy problems were economic in nature. But, as the crisis has evolved, it has become apparent that there are deep seated political problems in the periphery, which, in our view, need to change if EMU [European Monetary Union is going to function properly in the long run. The political systems in the periphery were established in the aftermath of dictatorship, and were defined by that experience. Constitutions tend to show a strong socialist influence, reflecting the political strength that left wing parties gained after the defeat of fascism. Political systems around the periphery typically display several of the following features: weak executives; weak central states relative to regions; constitutional protection of labor rights; consensus building systems which foster political clientalism; and the right to protest if unwelcome changes are made to the political status quo. The shortcomings of this political legacy have been revealed by the crisis. Countries around the periphery have only been partially successful in producing fiscal and economic reform agendas, with governments constrained by constitutions (Portugal), powerful regions (Spain), and the rise of populist parties (Italy and Greece)...