Published On: Fri, May 10th, 2013

Financial crisis in Europe raises questions about the European Union

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Debt_MI-resize-380x300By Ph. D. Nubia Nieto

 The economical crisis in Europe is causing a huge scepticism about the government policies and values of welfare, as well as about the future of Europe. For many countries in Europe, the austerity measures have not improved the economy. On the contrary, they have increased the discontent of Europeans, and a lost of directions in the European policies. In Spain, the unemployment rate has hit a new record of 27.16 per cent in the first quarter of 2013, which represents to 6.2 million people without work, according to the Spanish National Statistics Institute.

 In France, the levels of unemployment have also risen to 3.187 million, following the report of the French Ministry of work. In this context, the number of unemployed people in France rose by 18,400 in February 2013 to 3.187 million that shows similar levels of unemployment recorded in 1997.

 In Italy, the unemployment rate jumped to 11.7 percent in January 2013 from 11.3 percent recorded in December 2012, reaching its highest level for the last 21 years.  

In the United Kingdom, unemployment rate have also soared to 7.9 percent in February of 2013, in accordance with the office for National Statistics in England. That means that the number of people out of work rose from 70, 000 to 2.56 million in the three months to February of this year.

Besides, the levels of inflation in Europe are becoming alarming. In the United Kingdom the pound has lost two thirds of its value since 1982. According to the analysis of Lloyds Private Banking, the inflation in England is quite severe and it is reflected in different consumer items, for example, the cost of a beer (standard) in 1982 was £0.73, in 2012 £3.18, which means a increase of 336%. Bread (800g) in 1982 was £0.37, in 2012 £1.24, up 235%. Eggs(dozen) in 1982 were £0.73, in 2012 £2.82 up 286%. Gold (troy ounce) in 1982 was £203, in 2012 £1,096 a rise of 438%.

The negative list of unemployment rates and the high levels of inflation across Europe could inspire a book. Indeed, the economic tragedy of Greece and Cyprus are cases in point. The main lesson today is the European Union is insolvent, with an astronomic debt and unpaid bills, which reach 217 billion Euros, equivalent to 108 English pounds.

The economical crisis in Europe creates new enemies and phantoms to who blame for its failure. High levels of immigration, drugs, crime, increase of birth rate in poor areas and so on. There are several reasons to explain the financial disaster in Europe. However, the most dangerous one it is the lack of government vision to lead their countries. There have been applied many reforms to the welfare state, which have shown so far to be more counter-productive that real antidote for the problem. The citizens are more sceptics that strong believers of the European project. “The single market” becomes the “space of battle of their economic interest”.

The European Union is creating a new country rate based in economic growth. The new poor of the zone are represented by Spain, Greece, Italy, and Portugal. The traditional poor of the European region are Rumanian and Bulgarians, against the riches ones of the European region such as Germans, British and Scandinavians. In this scenario, Europe is far away of “the promised land” for all European. The European dream becomes “the land of small kingdoms”, where every country is protected according to the kingdom that belongs.

The values of “Liberté, égalité et fraternité” of the French revolution are far away of the current Europe. Poverty, high levels of inflation, unemployment, desolation, anxiety, metal illness and hopelessness are part of the new Europe.

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