Really this is just an excuse to point to the Wall Street Journal‘s “Real Time Brussels” blog, which was actually advertised on a big billboard right next to my local supermarket. After reviewing a few posts, the blog seems to confirm that there inevitably seems to be a very specific sort of wry humor involved when “Anglo-Saxon neoliberal-elitist-hegemonic” publications (the others would be The Economist and The Financial Times) cover European affairs. However, whatever the horrors of the WSJ’s op ed page, their Brussels blog actually is really quite good, featuring the sort of informed skepticism that should always be welcome.
They have a short post covering/pointing to Eurostat’s latest figures for debts and deficits across the EU. On Greece they made me smile: “No data at all. Greece has a reprieve until Nov. 15.” On Ireland, it is terrifying: “Deficit of 32% [!], debt of 98.6%. The deficit figure would be a record, destroying the high-water mark of 13.6% that Greece set last year […]. The debt is staggering when you consider Ireland’s debt-to-GDP ratio was 25% way back in 2007 [my emphasis].” But wait, before you blame immigrants, pensioners or crypto-communist welfare statists, our WSJ bloggers laconically note, “The reason: Bank bailouts.” Oh my.
PS: I would love to read more blogs from center-left publications but they appear quite rare.