"Austerity is not the answer" by Intelligence Squared

Past Event

30 May 2012, 8:00pm - 9:30pm


This online debate is hosted by Intelligence²

Please note: This is an online only event – you can watch it on the Versus YouTube or Google+ channels from 7pm BST on Wednesday 30th May.

Professor Ian Goldin, Director of the Oxford Martin School is joining a panel of experts to Advocate for the motion, "Austerity is not the answer".

Debate Subject: You borrowed money you can’t pay back; no one’s willing to lend to you any more...it seems pretty obvious what you should do: reduce your spending to match your income, foster a reputation for good credit, and start borrowing and investing when your current troubles are over. If you don’t do that, the cost of borrowing will skyrocket and you will fall further into debt. That’s no doubt what Angela Merkel will be telling François Hollande and any passing Greek politician. Countries like Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain – the Pigs – have just been living high on the hog for too long. A home truth that cannot be sidestepped. Face reality.

Truth? Or madness? French president François Hollande is not the only one who thinks that putting on the hair shirt is a form of suicide – it will simply kill the already fragile patient. Austerity is self-defeating, argue the expansionists: look at Greece. The more its economy shrinks, the more it needs to borrow just to keep the patient on life support. Besides, those who urge austerity should face political reality: push a democracy like Greece too far and it will just say “No!”, default, exit, devalue and go it alone. Argentina did it after all, and lived to tell the tale. Is that what the austerity-mongers really want – to see Europe splinter apart for lack of a trillion euros or so?

Should we end austerity to save Europe? Or save Europe with lashings of tough love? Have your say at the second in our series of Versus debates with Google. If you want the inside track on the latest developments in the eurozone, join us on YouTube or Google+ for this online-only event as our advocates grill expert witnesses in our new courtroom format.