The Greek problem is telling on the European Union for that political arrangement never imagined the problems of the future, indeed, the simple plan for economic cooperation fogged the entangling details that have yet to play out. The break up of the European Monetary Union will come within the next two to three years for the simple reason that the good times have long since expired and the union was a bad idea to begin with. But there are more severe problems that must be dealt with and those problems will consume both time and a lot of money.
The first is immigration. When the border controls were eliminated the borders became quite porous. The general idea was to encourage individuals and even families to follow work. If one country had need of skilled or semi skilled labor then those countries were there was a surplus of such labor would allow or even encourage their citizens to move to the country needing workers. Of course life isn’t that simple because there are many different languages spoken in Europe. The Dutch spoken in the Netherlands is not the same German spoken in Germany and there are many local dialects still in use in Germany. Very few French can speak either Spanish, which has its own problems of dialects, or German, or Italian. Some Italians in the north of Italy do speak French or German but those in the south where the unemployment is worse do not. Unlike the experience of the United States during the 18th century where those in Boston could barely understand those in Charleston, the Americans did evolve a common form of English that the Britons love to laugh at unless they are first or even second generation immigrants. While the linguistic variations of American dialects may have proved troublesome, the common written language of English was not and provided a common ground of understanding. Perhaps all countries that belong to the European Union should adopt English as the common and official language, thus avoiding the problems of the appearance of national chauvinism while pushing for their individual language to be the official standard.
Now immigration is a great threat to the individual countries belonging to the European Union. This threat comes from Africa in the form of illegal immigration. Unfortunately the liberal and socialist politicians, including judges, who should be more concerned with ruling on the existing laws and making new ones themselves, have insisted that this illegal immigration is a form of birth right of all people. One should be able to freely come to any country that offers any possible hope of promise for a better life. Actually, by that ideal one should not abuse those who wish to live in your house because they feel the need for shelter that is better in quality than their own, thus squatting should be a legal right. Perhaps we should ask the judges to take in their fair share. Unfortunately these immigrants bring nothing but disease and little understanding of lawful existence with them. They are coming not only from poverty but from countries where rule of law is unheard of and rule of tyrant is the norm. Then there is the health issues that these immigrants also bring as they tend to use more than would be expected of the normal citizen. Finally there is the problem of religion, or in the case of Islam, a way of life so very different from that of the average European citizen. They bring religious intolerance and the ideal of conversion by force and threat of death. Yes, I know, many who are Islamic say they aren’t pushing that, at least not yet, but they will stand by and watch it happen.
Next on the list is the economy, or the many economies, for the EU economy is an aggregate of the various member nations and not all of them are doing well. In fact only a few of them are doing well at all. Charles De Gaul once said that any country with as many as 250 different cheeses is impossible to govern. Well, how many different cheeses are there is the EU? There are actually more than 250 different types of cheese in France, I suppose that is why there have been so many different governments. In nations are unwilling to give up their individual sovereignty then what hope does any monetary union have of working, let alone a trade union? All the various industries and farming interests that have been given protection from competition in the market place make it impossible for any nation to survive without cheating in one way or another. Germany did it by getting their unions to always agree to slightly lower wages so that they could be more competitive in the export markets. On the other hand those same workers got a few government benefits to make up the difference. The unemployment rate in Germany is still very low right now. Compare that to France’s unemployment rate of 12 percent in general and exceptionally high for the 16 to 25 year old sector, that’s about 25 to 30 percent, much higher in Paris, which is not the city of unemployment. For those in Spain, Portugal, and Italy (I will not even touch Greece at the moment) the unemployment is so much worse. The problem is that the EU in all its glory has chocked manufacturing and services through excessive regulations and anti competition agreements. On top of that, the economic and monetary policies have been inflationary until finally they became deflationary. Excessive credit leads to inflation until people and countries can’t borrow any more and PCE drops precipitously and both manufacturing and services start to collapse. Then debt begins to start a long default that accelerates to full speed. The progressive and socialist political and economic policies have effectively destroyed most of Europe. There will be a long and hard depression during the next five to ten years.
Democracy has never been the problem in Europe. I know that we in America like to brag about our democracy but we are a republican form of government. Pure democracy is little more than popular vote. It has been said that democracy is little more than two wolves and one lamb voting as to what to have for dinner. A republic means that elections are held in districts that are physical and geographical representations of individuals who then elect other individuals to represent them in government. This tend to prevent the wolves from eating all the lambs. Unfortunately America is slowly gaining a progressive and very socialist government. We simply have not learned from our European cousins that socialism can do under the banner of progressivism. The strange part is that socialist countries tend to be democratic and even republics. But the effect is always the same. Nations become bankrupt because socialist and progressive ideals depend on someone else to pay for their policies and when they run out of money, there is hell to be paid. Make your citizens highly dependent on government for all their needs and you allow facism to enter as the ruling elite. What we are seeing now in Greece is very high support for a leftist progressive group, Syzira, to form a government and lead it out of the EU. Now leaving the EU is a good thing for Greece, they are at a definite disadvantage in that monetary union. There will be pain in the country for a couple of years to come but they will have outside help. But these same types of populist movements are afoot in Spain, Italy, and almost all the other EU member countries. I would expect to see Spain leave next year due to the worsening economic conditions. Most of Spain’s industry has gone and there is literally no work manufacturing. The shoe industries that both Spain and Italy relied on have moved first to China and not to Indonesia. Both these countries need some form of manufacturing and service industry when their adult unemployment (over age 25) are at 25%. Two of three Spanish provinces are looking to form their own separate countries and thus break up Spain. Italy might break into half, north and south, with the northern areas pushing to remove the south since it is a drain on them financially. Belgium has its own problems with the Flemish wanting to rid themselves of the French area. There are a lot of very unhappy people in Europe at the moment and not all of them are in the Ukraine. Even the French are susceptible to the irony of Fascism, One forgets that is a popular political front before the last world war. This are the three challenges to Europe and it will be interesting to see what the next five to ten years bring.