Europe is now officially in back-loaded austerity mode

As I have ben predicting here for months, the problems in individual large European economies have become too large to bear for the prevailing European policy mix. Therefore, today, in releasing the next year's country specific recommendations, the EC has moved away from front-loaded austerity, pushed back deficit reduction targets, and instead stepped up calls for structural reform. The pace of austerity is now considered to have been too swift - socially and politically unsustainable - and so timetables are getting pushed. But the paradigm remains the same - austerity and structural reform. The slant is now away from austerity simply in order to accommodate the facts on the ground.
The catalyst for this change is manifold. But it starts with the recession in three of the euro zone's lar...

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