We are witnessing the slow agony of the dream of European integration, disintegrating without a single demonstration occuring anywhere, among its 500 millions of citizens. It is clear that European institutions are in an existential crisis but the debate is only at intergovernmental level.
The rich and the powerful, who meet every year at the World Economic Forum (WEF), were in a gloomy mood this time. Not only because the day they met close to eight trillion dollars has been wiped off global equity markets by a "correction". But because no leader could be in a buoyant mood.
The focus on terrorism is obscuring the issues of refugees, and it is important to consider its impact on Europe, after the shock of Paris.
The recent elections in Switzerland and Poland are good indicators of what will happen elsewhere in Europe, with this irresistible growing wave of refugees. But let us first make some crucial considerations.
The success in the recent Swiss elections of the UDC-SVP, a xenophobic, anti European Union, right wing party, opens a number of reflections.
The long saga on Greece is apparently over – European institutions have given Athens a third bailout of 86 billion euros which, combined with the previous two, makes a grand total of 240 billion euros.
In recommendations to German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the end of July, the German Council of Economic Experts outlined
how a weak member country could leave the Eurozone and called for strengthening the European monetary union.
Only 50 years of Cold War (and the fact that German Chancellor Angela Merkel grew up in East Germany) can possibly explain the strange political power of the United States over Europe.
With little fanfare, the German IFO Institute for Economic Research recently published a report on population projections for Germany which states simply that the country’s population is shrinking fast.
It is astonishing that every week we see action being taken in various part of the world against the financial sector, without any noticeable reaction of public opinion.
The victory of the Conservative Party and the debacle of the Labour Party in the recent British general elections is yet another sign of the crisis facing left-wing forces today, leaving aside the question of how, under the British electoral system, the Labour Party actually increased the number of votes it won but saw a reduction in the number of seats it now holds in Parliament (24 seats less than the previous 256).
The ‘West’ is a concept that flourished during the Cold War. Then it was West against East in the form of the Soviet empire. The East was evil against which all democratic countries – read West – were called on to fight.
The results of a survey
of what 3,500 young people between the ages of 18 and 24 – in all Arab countries except Syria – feel about the current situation in the Middle East and North Africa have just been released.
This month’s World Economic Outlook released
by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) only confirms that consequences of the collapse of the financial system, which started six years ago, are serious. And they are accentuated by the aging of the population, not only in Europe but also in Asia, the slowing of productivity and weak private investment.
The United Kingdom has been accused
of “sleepwalking” into the Ukraine crisis – and the accusation comes from no less than the House of Lords, not usually considered a place of critical analysis.