Of course, how could you forget: after all everything that is wrong with Europe is blamed not on government corruption and the complete lack of reform, enabled so gloriously by Goldman's custodian of Europe's money printer who would do "whatever it takes" to mask Europe's sad reality that without reform the continent is doomed, but on the intolerable, insufferable imposition of hated, loathed austerity on Europe's insolvent nations. After all, how on earth are they all supposed to get out of their debt-induced depressions if they have to, gasp, cut their debt!
So yeah, we get the propaganda. What we don't get is whether everyone in Europe is completely incapable of reading simple numbers, is atrocious at math, or simply doesn't understand the definition of austerity.
According to the just released government debt data for Q2 2014 where we find that, in a very peculiar definition of what austerity supposedly means in Europe, total debt to GDP for the Euro Area rose once again, from 91.9%, to a new all time high of 92.7%, or in absolute terms from €9.15 trillion in government debt to €9.26 trillion.
Here is what Europe's debt breakdown looks like on a chart:
It wasn't all European states that were confused about the definition of austerity, however: only most of them.
"Compared with the first quarter of 2014, twelve Member States registered an increase in their debt to GDP ratio at the end of the second quarter of 2014, six a decrease and Estonia no change. The highest increases in the ratio were recorded in Italy (+3.1 percentage points – pp), Malta (+2.7 pp) and Latvia (+2.4 pp)."
Congartulations are due to Ireland (-5.2%) and Portugal (-2.2%), which do have a permission to bash evil austerity. All the others better shut up.
But wait, it gets better. Because juuuuuust when you think Europe's worst debt offender, i.e., Italy, is about to get it... it loses it again.
Here is what the Bank of Italy released moments ago:
The ratio of debt to GDP is expected to rise to 133.4 per cent in 2015; it is projected to start decreasing in 2016, one year later than forecast in April, and to reach 124.6 per cent in 2018.
Next year, it will be projected to start decreasing in 2017, and the year after that, in 2018: always the year just after.
And now, let's all blame "austerity" for Europe's triple-dip recession aka ongoing depression.