Europe is at a critical phase.
The euro problem is just dormant; it can only be a matter of time before a spark sets it off once again.
Italy in particular is showing signs of terminal cracking, with civil insurrection a distinct possibility.
France goes from bad to worse, now seemingly in recession AGAIN and having carried out NONE of the real structural reforms necessary. Its major current policy seems to be to demand Germany bail them out (nothing new there of course)
The EU is becoming very unpopular in a number of countries, not only Britain. The elections next May could see a parliament seething with “eurosceptics”.
Germany has a new so-called government and gives the illusion of being in a strong position, but appreances can be deceptive. The irony is that Germany is in a very bad situation:
A) If Merkel goes along with the French and Italians, they will slowly bleed her to death. Germany’s debt is already quite high and doesn’t make the headlines only because everyone else is much worse.
B) Germany has embarked on an insane energy policy whereby gas is now up to FOUR TIMES the price it is in the USA. How the hell they think their heavy industry can cope with that long-term is fascinating.
C) The new German “government” has moved considerably left, and we all know what happens to countries when THAT happens. For a start, they are lowering the retirement age to 63, which is totally unaffordable. The sacrifices of the past decade since Schröder are certainly going to be frittered away in an orgy of leftist lunacy as the “Let’s grab-their-money-and-waste-it” French get in on the act.
D) Germany’s success depends largely on exports to Asia, but this is fragile. Even if WWIII does not break out in the South China Sea China is doomed for a major collapse and civil disorder at some point, and Germany will be in big trouble as its exports collapse.
E) Germany also has long-term demographic problems which nobody seems to be focusing on. How the are going to pay for pensions and health for their ageing population is a mystery, as it is for many other countries.
At this time Europe needs courageous and wise leadership. Do you see any anywhere? Merkel has a high reputation in Germany, but she dithers and slithers, and the new German Coalition is not designed for bold, long-term-sensible measures, being as it is weighed down by the ball-and-chain of leftist economic fantasy.
Three is only ONE positive point for me in all this. Merkel has said “Debt mutualization over my dead body.” (or words to that effect), so the question is, do we trust her? I don’t, because without it the euro and possibly the EU itself will collapse leaving Germany exposed as the Bad Guy once more. This would be silly, but Brussels and the French are very good at propaganda, and a lot of moral blackmail will be exerted on Germany to show “solidarity” with the idle, feckless and leeching incompetents that Germany is mostly dealing with.
So she may try to find a way to go back on her words without anyone realizing it. That would be pretty dumb, but her alternative is to allow the whole edifice to crumble. The EU has worked itself into an impossible dilemma ……