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    The ECB should focus on the threat of deflation rather than maintaining austerity

The ECB should focus on the threat of deflation rather than maintaining austerity

The European Central Bank will hold its latest policy meeting today. Ahead of the meeting, David Woodruff writes that while growth has resumed in the Eurozone, there are still serious problems across the single currency area, with unemployment at exceptionally high levels in several countries. He argues that the ECB’s primary focus should be on preventing deflation, and that […]

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Public spending cuts in Spain have been more severe in those areas under the control of regional governments

Spain has pursued an austerity programme as part of its response to the financial crisis. Jacint Jordana compares spending cuts in areas under the control of regional governments, including the bulk of health and education spending, with areas controlled at the national level, such as pensions and welfare. He argues that due to a 2009 law on decentralised public finances, […]

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    Land value taxation could help to finance low-carbon infrastructure projects in cities suffering from austerity budgets

Land value taxation could help to finance low-carbon infrastructure projects in cities suffering from austerity budgets

Many cities across Europe have had budgets for local services and infrastructure projects cut as a result of the financial crisis. Blanca Fernandez writes on the potential for land value taxation, in which taxes are collected on the basis of the value of land rather than simply on property, to help fund low-carbon infrastructure in cities. She argues that land […]

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Ireland’s decision to retain the Seanad is not the end of the country’s political reform process

On 4 October the Irish electorate voted against the abolition of Ireland’s upper house of parliament, the Seanad, in a referendum. John Fitzgibbon assesses the outcome of the referendum, noting that the campaign was largely framed around the idea of ensuring the political class received its fair share of cutbacks in the context of austerity policies. The fact that voters […]

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The financial crisis means that Europe will need to look beyond the public sector to provide its healthcare needs

The financial crisis has led to public spending cuts across most European countries. Richard B Saltman and Zachary Cahn write that even if current levels of health spending are maintained, public healthcare systems will increasingly come under strain due to projected rises in healthcare costs. They argue that the only solution left for European governments is to increase the contribution […]

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The threat of Geert Wilders winning snap elections is likely to be enough to force a compromise on the Netherlands’ 2013 budget

In 2012, the Netherlands held snap elections following disagreement between Mark Rutte’s government, and Geert Wilders’ right-wing PVV over the country’s budget. Adam Evans writes that one year on from the elections, Rutte is once again facing difficulty negotiating support for the 2013 budget. He argues however that with the PVV enjoying high polling ratings, the prospect of forcing another […]

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