The prevailing narrative in the debate over the situation in the European Union is that a relentless austerity program dictated by Berlin and executed by Brussels is economically subjugating the Continent and preventing national governments from helping the poor and the unemployed, and stimulating the economy.
German Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel is calling for an end to the austerity regime and a “detoxification” of Europe. Sahra Wagenknecht, the parliamentary leader of the Left Party, wants to see an “end to the austerity mandate,” a “social new beginning” for the European Union and a “massive anti-crisis program” funded by the European Central Bank.
But an unbiased look at the database of Eurostat, the E.U. statistics agency, brings figures to light that are completely at odds with the doom and gloom scenarios of politicians, mostly on the left, and with the perceptions of many people.