Chancellor Heinrich Brüning of Germany in the 1930s is remembered as “der Hungerkanzler” – the Chancellor of Starvation — for the harsh measures he imposed on Germany, at least partly responsible for the rise of Hitler and the Third Reich.
This article says that with the harsher measures being imposed now in Ukraine, calling Prime Minister Yatsenyuk the “Prime Minister of Starvation” is much too mild.
Chancellor of Starvation 2.0. A gift under the Christmas tree to citizens of Ruins
Posted on novorossy.ru, January 1, 2015
The authorities wished the country a Happy New Year. Even after removal of the most obscurantist articles like the abolition of free secondary education adopted by the Parliament on the eve of winter vacation, the 2015 budget was the most anti-social of the economic collapse since the time of the 90’s, wrote in a popular Ukrainian newspaper “News” correspondent Dmitry Korotkov.
This is Yanukovych, constantly pursued by the specter of the new Maidan, retreated at the slightest sign of another social revolt. For the current rulers of the country, any constraints are not present. Any discontent they can easily explain “the machinations of the Federal Security Service”, on which the discussion ends.
Ukrainians are not calling to tighten their belts voluntarily – authorities themselves grabbed these belts and pull from both sides at the same time: on the one hand – cut social payments, on the other – the global rise in prices and the tax noose. At the same time, however, the people are promised that all who survive 2015, 2016 will be a better life. But in our case, when political leaders do not remember their own statements made four or five months ago, an improvement in 2016 means – never.
This is clear to anyone who has studied the history not according to Ukrainian textbooks. The fact that for the first time this is taking place now in Ukraine, have long ceased to know-how for the rest of the world. In the history of Germany was almost a direct analog of our current processes, when the Weimar Republic Chancellor Brüning in 1930, to save the country from an economic collapse, in the same way squeezed the German people in a vise — wage cuts to pensions and benefits (and there were many veterans of the First World War) and tax increases. For which he received from the free German press the nickname “The Chancellor of starvation.”
The result of Brüning’s effort is known: even greater impoverishment of the Germans and the rise to power of the Nazis. Already in 1933 Adolf Hitler became the Chancellor.
But Bruening, in contrast to his current Ukrainian followers, did give his country at least a little hope for gleam at the end of the tunnel. He increased taxes and cut salaries, but at the end of 1931 in Germany, there was incredible for us deflation: prices fell by 7%! He was going to the belt-tightening for the sake of Western aid, but the help is not new loans, and the cancellation of payment of reparations imposed on Germany – and achieved that in 1931 the state budget did not give a penny to the West thanks to the decision to postpone the payment of US for one year without charging percent.
Ukraine in late 2014 is in a worse situation than Germany in 1930. But what do we have? Against the background of the new wave of social impoverishment, authorities promise us raising gas prices to the level of the market (which is an increase of two to three times the cost of hot water, gas and heating!), And 17% of the official inflation rate, twice as low compared to the real. That is wallets, from whom the authorities with both hands pulls out money, will be by a third thinner and more, thanks to prices. If Brüning with his seven-percent deflation remained in the memory of the Germans as “Chancellor of starvation”, then Yatsenyuk in this case, even the nickname “Prime Minister of starvation” is still very soft.
And for what do authorities expose the country to test? Maybe the light at the end of the tunnel at least the West that is very friendly to us now will write off the debts of Ukraine, or at least postpone their payment without charging interest – as it did in less difficult situation in Germany? No. The people tighten noose in order to get new loans.
The Ukrainian government borrows to pay off the debts already taken previously. This means that in 2016 Ukrainians will pay for existing and not yet taken loans that due to interest are growing like a snowball. This means that after the “starving budget” of 2015 will be even more starving in 2016 and 2017. The light at the end of the tunnel will be a candle, set on the grave of the current Ukrainian government, to be replaced by radical forces, can come, offering the same as in 1933 in Germany, a very simple solution to very complex issues.
See this article by Steve Forbes comparing Angela Merkel to Brüning http://www.dialoginternational.com/dialog_international/2011/12/angela-merkel-die-hungerkanzlerin.html