There is a brewing tension within Britain over the sense that the budget is being balanced on the backs of the working class, while City bankers continue to pull in massive bonuses. It's a tension that will be familiar across Europe; in country after country pain is being exacted on those who feel themselves to be victims, at the behest of those who seem to be doing just fine. In country after country, occasional eruptions of public passion will come close to boiling over, as they did yesterday in Britain. And the real austerity has only begun; the cuts next year will be far more severe than what's happened already. Inevitably, some real trouble will develop somewhere; the near-miss, finally, won't miss. And in the ugly politics that follows, truly distressing scenarios, like a departure of one or several countries from the euro area, could suddenly seem much more realistic.
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