In this opinion, I am really confused. Is the author trying to say:

(i) The eurocrats are ignorant, as they believe all their actions are correct?

(ii) If Macron wins, it makes the eurocrats even more so - so is not necessarily good?

May someone explain the main messages of the opinion?

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  • "it makes the eurocrats even more so" What? Ignorant? – jjdb May 17 '17 at 12:54
  • 1
    Wrong and ignorant aren't quite the same thing. – origimbo May 17 '17 at 13:01

The author (Paul Krugman) is trying to say both:

(i) The eurocrats are ignorant, as they believe all their actions are correct.

Even though Brussels and Berlin were wrong again and again about the economics — even though the austerity they imposed was every bit as economically disastrous as critics warned — they continued to act as if they knew all the answers, that any suffering along the way was, in effect, necessary punishment for past sins.


(ii) If Macron wins, it makes the eurocrats even more so - so is not necessarily good.

Which brings me back to the French election. We should be terrified at the possibility of a Le Pen victory. But we should also be worried that a Macron victory will be taken by Brussels and Berlin to mean that Brexit was an aberration, that European voters can always be intimidated into going along with what their betters say is necessary.

Whereas the second is the main message, as the last paragraph shows:

So let’s be clear: Even if the worst is avoided this Sunday, all the European elite will get is a time-limited chance to mend its ways.

Krugman in his column is a long-time critic of the European economic policies which mainly take the form of austerity.

  • What makes his article a little strange is the idea that populism is on the rise because the EU bullied small countries. It's quite the opposite - if it were up to the (right wing) populists we would have nuked Greece from orbit because it's the only way to be sure. Does not really change the overall conclusion, though. – user10415 May 17 '17 at 15:23
  • @EikePierstorff I don't agree with the views of Paul Krugman either, having myself a more leftist view on economics/politics etc. However, this is not about the correctness of his assertions or propositions but about the interpretation thereof. – jjdb May 17 '17 at 15:27
  • @EikePierstorff How is that the opposite? Just a matter of degree perhaps, speculation about what far right politicians might have done does not change what happened. – Relaxed May 17 '17 at 22:01
  • @jjdb what does the author mean by "all the European elite will get is a time limited chance to mend its ways." literally? – Bryan Shih May 18 '17 at 21:12

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