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Britain's 'Euro Crisis' Disco Ditty Has A Familiar Message: 'We Told You So'

With its “Euro Crisis Song,” the British newspaper The Guardian is having a bit of a laugh at the Continent and its currency woes. But is this not a case of the pot calling the kettle black?

You Tube video pokes fun at countries directly hit by the Euro crisis
You Tube video pokes fun at countries directly hit by the Euro crisis
Daniel Eckert

The British never did have much good to say about the euro, particularly London City bankers who perceive themselves as the center of the financial world. In the 1990s, Helmut Kohl predicted that the UK would reconsider joining the European currency union, but his visionary gifts let him down there: even the former German chancellor would no longer be counting on Britain to do that any time soon.

Relief that the euro crisis is somebody else's crisis isn't the only feeling floating over the British Isles these days: there's some measure of derision, too. And the land of hip pop and rabid media has found just the vehicle: the "Euro Crisis Song." Released on YouTube by the Guardian newspaper, it made the rounds in Britain and has now found its way over to the Continent. The official word from the producers is that the video is intended to "explain the crisis."

"Greece's sovereign debt crisis brought the government to the brink of collapse," begins the song, while the lyrics float as bright-colored words against a black ground. The music is 70s disco style -- had it competed in the Eurovision Song Contest it probably would have counted as one of the more successful British contributions.

"Deregulation, speculation, and the mortgage scam" are to blame for the situation, the song continues. And there's no arguing with "Greece only got in to the eurozone ‘cause of a numbers flub." Then (not without Schadenfreude) comes: "When you use the euro there's just one catch, when things get rough you can't devalue cash." And here's where it gets mean: "PIGS – Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain. Who's gonna bail them out?"

Over and over, "they call you PIGS" is hammered home – PIGS being the term used by London investment bankers for the four crisis countries, written "PIIGS" when Italy is included. Only as the song nears the end is there a spark of empathy: "They call you PIGS but they don't understand, you're not the only ones to spend more than you can."

The song rightly opens up the playing field, because in terms of finance, the UK is anything but a paragon of virtue. This year, its debt will rise to 84% of GDP – higher than Germany and, yes, even Spain. The British deficit is at 9% and won't fall any lower than 7% in 2012. A rating agency has already issued a warning about the country's credit rating.

If the UK still has a prestigious AAA (Triple A) rating, it's in no small measure due to Prime Minister David Cameron's government. In 2010, the conservative launched an ambitious austerity program meant to put an end to the era of permanent deficits. What is unfortunate is that, because of Cameron's close contact with some players at the center of the Rupert Murdoch scandal, he may not survive politically. English bookmakers are already taking bets on his resignation. The austerity plan could well meet a sudden end.

If that happens, it'll be time for a "Europe Crisis Song." And if the Americans get in on the act, then maybe something more along the lines of a "Requiem for Paper Money."

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

BDS And Us: Gaza's Toll Multiplies Boycotts Of Israel And Its Allies — Seinfeld Included

In Egypt and elsewhere in the region and the world, families and movements are mobilizing against companies that support Israel's war on Gaza. The power of the people lies in their control as consumers — and the list of companies and brands to boycott grows longer.

A campaign poster with the photo of a burger with blood coming out of it with text reading "You Kill" and the Burger King logo

A campaign poster to boycott Burger King in Bangkok, Malü

Matt Hunt/ZUMA
Mohammed Hamama

CAIRO — Ali Al-Din’s logic is simple and straightforward: “If you buy a can (of soda), you'll get the bullet too...”

Those bullets are the ones killing the children of Gaza every day, and the can he refuses to buy is “kanzaya” – the popular Egyptian soft drink. It is just one of a long list of products he had the habit of consuming. Ali is nine years old.

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The clarity and simplicity of this logic has pushed Ali Al-Din to boycott all the products on the lists people are circulating of companies that have supported Israel since the attacks on Gaza began in October. His mother, Heba, points out that her son took responsibility for overseeing the boycott in their home.

A few days ago, he saw a can of “Pyrosol” insecticide, but he thought it was one of the products of the “Raid” company that was on the boycott’s lists. He warned his mother that this product was on the boycott list, but she explained that the two products were different. Ali al-Din and his younger brother also abstained from eating any food from McDonald's. “They love McDonald’s very much,” his mother says. “But they refuse.”

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