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The political nature of the ‘crisis in the Eurozone’ thus emerges as what it has been right from the very beginning: a process of neoliberal social engineering carried out in Southern Europe as a testing ground for future application in the rest of the continent, aimed at expanding the reach of neoliberal governmentality, fully commodifying social relations and consolidating an institutional framework designed to expand markets and competition to all spheres of life. [...] 
What to make, then, of the three and half years under the memorandum and their impact on Portuguese society, insofar as most of the targets were missed, debt grew in proportion to GDP, and any rise in oil prices or interest rates will make the entire edifice quake and collapse? A possible answer is that the sovereign debt crisis, as well as all that followed it, was no more than a moment in the restructuring of European capitalism, a response to the fact that the a region was losing competitiveness and power in the world-system, a fast way to overcome all sorts of barriers to political status quo and to dismantle whatever was left of the ‘European social model’, starting with the continent’s soft belly. 
The embedded neoliberalism that characterizes the rules and framework of the Eurozone already implied most of the features of such a process, and its periphery became the perfect testing ground for the latter, ever since the credit rating agencies started their spelling contest from triple ‘A’ to triple ‘E’. A coherent mode of governmentality, comprising an expanding police state and ever-spreading commodification, along with the coexistence of different regimes of accumulation and distinct modalities of reproduction of the labour force, was already underway with the eastward expansion of the EU. But the possibility of advancing quickly in that direction was an opportunity that could not be missed by opening the credit tab early on (say, in 2010) and stabilizing the Eurozone in the short-run, allowing things to follow a slower pace.
 ‘Making lazy southern Europeans pay their dues’ was both politically popular in countries with positive external accounts and a powerful tool to restructure southern Europe, which would thus become more competitive and attractive for investors, even if that entailed massive social costs and, equally important, produced a decisive split between democracy at the national level and sovereignty at a supranational level. Had Quantitative Easing been adopted in the Eurozone as early as it was in the United States, the loans made by northern European banks to southern States and banks would have been just as secure, but that would not have allowed the massive restructuring of labour markets and the shrinkage of the Welfare State, provisions implicit in the Memorandum. Far from being the only way out of the debt crisis, ‘austerity’ was the quickest way to ensure European-wide internal devaluation in the long run. Austerity is not a harsh correction of a nation’s internal disequilibrium, an unpleasant but needed medicine to face a momentary financial malaise, but rather the banner under which Europe will be reshaped as an economic and political space in the years to come.

O resto do artigo que escrevi para o site EuroNomade pode ser lido aqui

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