Did you know that the Eurozone economies showed a modest return to growth in the last quarter? If you read one of the right-leaning papers, you could easily have missed the news. And even if your paper has let you know, that will come with plenty of suggestions that you “look over there” at creatively interpreted words from German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Or at the BBC.
So what has happened? Well, the Eurozone has posted an overall growth of 0.3%, and so has the wider EU-28, which latter includes the UK. Some Eurozone economies have contracted (Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands), while others have grown (Austria, France, Germany, Finland and Portugal). This is the first quarter of overall Eurozone growth in seven.
As not all Eurozone economies have grown, and there have been warnings that one quarter is not in itself grounds for optimism, the BBC has reported accordingly, with Europe editor Gavin Hewitt telling “What is unclear is whether the eurozone will be able to discover significant growth or whether the zone will flat-line and stagnate”. This has been summarily ignored by the Daily Mail.
There, following a report that gave more or less the same news as that from the hated Beeb, Stephen “Miserable Git” Glover ranted “Why does the BBC sneer about Britain's recovery but go crazy if Euroland's corpse so much as twitches?” followed by accusations that Evan Davis was cheerleading, and – real pot and kettle stuff this – that Stephanie Flanders was the Corporation’s “In-house doomster”.
Daily Mail Comment, the authentic voice of the Vagina Monologue, went further: “The BBC, an ideological cheerleader for the one-size-fits-all single currency from the outset, may wish to fool itself that everything is rosy. But, with Europe’s major banks terrifyingly short of capital, youth unemployment at record levels and national debts continuing to soar, nothing could be further from the truth”.
So the usual make-it-up-as-you-go-along drivel, then. What of the Maily Telegraph? Yes, there was a report on Eurozone growth, but finding it on the paper’s website this morning proved elusive. The Tel prefers Angela Merkel’s hint that some EU competencies may be given back to member states, without noticing that, with elections coming up in Germany, this may have been for domestic consumption.
And then there is the Express, aka the Daily UKIP, with “Now Germany may follow Britain by clawing powers back from the European Union” (we ain’t clawed anything back, Express people), and a cursory mention of Eurozone growth in the thirteenth and last paragraph of Euro-basher Macer Hall’s piece. So the press either ignores it, tries not to talk about it, or uses it to kick the BBC.
Just how “free and fearless” is that? Er, not at all, thanks. No change there, then.