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Friday, April 18, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Abdulah: Dookeran got it all wrong, ‘No early end to global economic crisis’
It will be a long time before the debt crisis and financial volatility in the global environment subsides, according to government senator David Abdulah. In brief remarks at a post-budget forum at the headquarters of the Oilfield Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) at Paramount Building, San Fernando, Abdulah said Finance Minister Winston Dookeran had an incorrect view of the global crisis. “The Minister of Finance spoke about the global crisis but quite honestly he was not explicit about the nature of the economic crisis,” Abdulah said.
“He said the Greek debt crisis, ‘resulting in the euro area’s current quagmire has laid bare the flaws in the European welfare model, where questionable accounting disguised the true size of the debt over several years...Similar conditions exist in Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Spain.’ “But the Minister of Finance has got it quite wrong...It is not the flaws of the European welfare model that has caused Greece’s problem. “It is actually the crisis of global capitalism which caused the crisis...It is very deep-seated.”
Abdulah said the social democratic system which evolved after the 1929 Great Depression was now on the brink of collapse and this crash was not too different to that which occurred in 2008. With a repeat of history, Abdulah said it might be only a matter of time before street protests were criminalised. “What is happening now is the dismantling of the post World War Two social settlement of the established banks of social democracy in Europe, where the State had a responsibility for every citizen, where the trade unions and labour movement were critical partners,” he said. “That social democracy settlement came about because of the crisis of 1929 crash of Wall Street.
“The rise of fascism in Europe in the 1930s was the backlash of the economic crisis, racism rose and everyone started to fear the other. “The world crafted an economic system of social democracy and welfare but that model of social democracy is now under threat and is being dismantled the world over. “If that is dismantled, what we return to is neofacism, the criminalisation of protest, and of redistribution of income from the rich to the poor.” Saying there was a crisis of overproduction and underconsumption, Abdulah noted: “When you drive down wages, workers don’t have the capacity to consume, so firms are continuing to produce what people cannot afford.
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