Hope Trope and Dutch Elections

Holland Puts End to Eurosceptic Adventure — Gives Merkel Hope – Bloomberg.

One of mainstream media’s favorite device is the hope trope. People are nervous about the ongoing Eurocrisis, and they should be. A default in Europe will have catastrophic consequences for the world economy causing a depression that will have us all thinking of the GFC as the good old days. Give the people what they want: an optimistic narrative on how Europe has turned the corner and things are looking up.

The Dutch are the first country to return a sitting government to power since the onset of the Eurocrisis. The author notes that Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain have thrown their governments out of office. Here the article is comparing the apples you stuff in the mouth of a pig to the Dutch orange. The PIIGS are in the midst of wrenching austerity programs, while the Dutch are not.

The article is excited about the Dutch returning a pro-austerity party to power. This is a mischaracterization of the  Liberal Party; it is only pro-austerity in countries that are not the Netherlands. Did you know that this year’s projected Dutch budget deficit is nearly 50% higher that Italy’s, 4.7% of GDP versus 3.2%? It doesn’t look like the Dutch are serious about austerity unless they are lecturing their eurozone partners on its virtues.






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