The Potato as an Answer to the Crisis – About Urban Gardening in the center of the European Union and the “Back-to-rural-areas” movement in the southern periphery of the European Union, by Roland Kulke, July 2012
The multiple crisis has now reached Europe in full force. The systemic crisis that was first called the crisis of the financial system and was then re-defined as a public debt crisis is enabling Europe’s ruling elites to dismantle the last remains of our welfare states. While the neo-liberalism of the pre-Lehman period was an assault on the welfare state, what is at issue in today’s Europe is the substance of the state as such. Those countries of the Euro Zone which continually achieve export surpluses at the expense of their neighbours are largely identical with the old D-Mark block, i.e. those which had then more or less linked their currencies to the “hard” German mark, particularly Germany, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Austria and Finland. Their elites have found their “natural” leader in Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel, whose goal, and that of her supporters, is, as it seems, the transformation of what we have hitherto understood as the nature of the state. In recent years, a number of international treaties have been concluded which are increasingly constricting public budgets and will in all probability leading to an institutionalized depression in the peripheral countries of the Euro Zone.