In line with the suggestion in talos' diary The gaping abyss of neoliberal "reform" here are some thoughts on the sinister religious cult that is the Austerians.
The first thing to note is that we have no evidence of whether or not the Austerians are in fact personal masochists, along the lines of Dan Brown's portrayal of Opus Dei.
Rather, the evidence is that like the disciples of Chernobog in S.M. Stirling's The Peshawar Lancers they are dedicated to increasing the misery of the human race.
(Note: we do not know the actual names and rituals of the god(s) of the Austerians.)
From their ruling positions, the Austerians pursue this religious quest, using all the knowledge they have to crash the economies of the EU, condemning millions to unemployment and all the consequences that flow from that.
I use Chernobog from The Peshawar Lancers as an analogy, but it is imperfect, because his followers sought an ending of the human race, as much as misery for it. The Austerians however seem to believe in some kind of utilitarian calculus where they attempt to inflict the most misery on the greatest number of people, to serve their God. In some ways, this is even more horrifying as a goal.
Prominent members of the cult include Angela Merkel and George Osborne. The high priests appear to come from the ranks of economists. I am sure others more knowledgable than I can name them in the comments. We do not know how many other leaders have been converted to this sinister religion and how many are naive dupes.