Let’s hear it for Portugal
The Portuguese Constitutional Court’s nixing of EU austerity measures could affect all of Europe.
If the European market weren’t so important to Israel, the never-ending saga of European wrong-headedness would be laughable. A Martian watching the antics from space would be overcome by diabolical laughter.
The crisis of the week has shifted from Cyprus, where the EU, the ECB and the IMF decided to confiscate bank deposits–including those supposedly insured by the EU (which gives rise to the interesting speculation as to whether the depositors with less than 100,000 euros in their accounts could have applied to be reimbursed) all the way across the continent to Portugal.
Portugal is not a major economic power, but it is much larger and more important than Cyprus. In order to qualify for a European bailout the Portuguese government proposed, and the national assembly passed, a law with various austerity measures affecting a wide swath of the population of the country.
The Portuguese Constitutional Court decided that many of these measures were unconstitutional. In other words, the government had no authority to violate the constitutional rights of Portuguese citizens on the orders of outside institutions, European or international. Three resounding cheers for the court.