During a C-SPAN interview on Sunday, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) told reporters Major Garrrett, of the National Journal, and Binyamin Appelbaum, of the New York Times, that the recent EU elections “signal that voters across the Atlantic want to see President Obama’s economic policies in their own countries,” the Washington Examiner’s Joel Gehrke writes.
“I think they have been overdoing the austerity,” Rep. Frank said.
“There’s been a real political upheaval there: in the elections in Greece; in the election of Francois Hollande; in what happened in the Netherlands, in the recent election in the largest state in Germany. I think you’re going to see, in Germany, which is the key there — and then Europe as a whole — a move more in the policy direction that we’ve been taking,” he added.
The “direction” Rep. Frank is referring to is, of course, the policy of addressing increasing debts and deficits with government stimulus (as opposed to slashing budgets).
“Our policy of some short-term concern for stimulus within the longer-term context of debt reduction is working much better than [austerity] and I think that [with] an awful lot of political pressure, Europe’s going to move,” the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee added.
Watch Rep. Frank’s interview (via C-SPAN):
Despite what it could do for the EU’s fiscal stability, workers in several of the cash-strapped eurozone countries have opposed (oftentimes violently) the austerity measures championed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Greece has fought especially hard against proposal to cut entitlement spending.
“The [fiscal] war that we are experiencing is not between nations and peoples…It’s a war between peoples and capitalism, and Greece is on the frontline of that war,” Greece’s radical leftist Alexis Tsipas said.
In France, they ousted the pro-austerity Nikolas Sarkozy in place of the hard-line Socialist Francois Hollande whose aids, according to Gehrke, are in total awe of the U.S. president.
“For all of these men, seeing Barack Obama was an important moment in their lives,” the pool reporter said after cabinet heads in Hollande’s administration met Obama Saturday, according to the Examiner.
“As an Elysee correspondent, Valerie Nataf, pointed out to your pooler, ‘Barack Obama is an important reference for the left side. His values are important for the President’s men,’” the report adds.