Monday, May 24, 2010

The End of Welfare States?


Following up on my previous comment, Steve Doughty of the London Mail reports, Euro crisis 'spells the end of welfare states': Post-war system in ashes, warns U.S. think tank:

The welfare states of Europe that rose out of the ashes of the Second World War are now facing destruction because of the sovereign debt crisis, analysts say.

The troubles that began with the collapse of Greece and which now threaten the euro spell the end for excessive and occasionally corrupt welfare systems, they say.

The pronouncement from a highly regarded U.S. think tank reflected popular opinion across northern European countries.

Uri Dadush, of the Carnegie Endowment's International Economic Programme, said: 'The current welfare state is unaffordable.

'The crisis has made the day of reckoning closer by several years in all the industrial countries.'

The verdict follows the surprise in the U.S. caused by the discovery that the average age of retirement in Greece is 53, thanks to a generous benefit system and pensions for state employees.

It symbolised the unaffordability of the welfare states set up across Europe from the 1940s onwards with the aim of suppressing popular unrest and paying off tensions that could lead to another continental war.

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