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13 Sad Realities of the European Union


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Europe was already well into the minefield before the Brexit vote. The UK’s decision may have made a bad situation more volatile, but Europe would still be in a fix if “Remain” had won.

Published in: Economy & Finance
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13 Sad Realities of the European Union

  1. 1. 13 Sad Realities of the European Union
  2. 2. Let’s start by looking back at 1914.
  3. 3. Europe was relatively peaceful at that time, until…
  4. 4. Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Ferdinand of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
  5. 5. This was the beginning of World War I.
  6. 6. By 1916 World War I developed into the worst war Europe had ever seen.
  7. 7. Just two decades later, Europe was torn apart by a second world war.
  8. 8. By the end of the war, millions were dead, and no one wanted to fight ever again.
  9. 9. Therefore, agreements were designed, to prevent another and potentially even more disastrous European war.
  10. 10. Those agreements would evolve into today’s European Union.
  11. 11. The thinking was that nations bound together economically would have less incentive to destroy each other.
  12. 12. The assumption, however, has proven to be wrong.
  13. 13. Let’s take a look 13 sad realities of the European Union
  14. 14. Join Hundreds of Thousands of Readers of John Mauldin’s Free Weekly Newsletter Follow Mauldin as he uncovers the truth behind, and beyond, the financial headlines in his free publication, Thoughts from the Frontline. Free Instant Access
  15. 15. Refugee Crisis 1.
  16. 16. Refugees from Africa and the Middle East, are struggling across the Mediterranean. Thousands are dying as their boats capsize and sink.
  17. 17. The EU is trying to accommodate those whom it can’t stop.
  18. 18. Greece in Shambles 2.
  19. 19. Greece is chafing under EU-imposed austerity as its economy endures depression-like conditions.
  20. 20. Spain and Portugal are wondering if they are next.
  21. 21. Growing Division 3.
  22. 22. Poland and Hungary are fighting against EU mandates that disrupt their internal affairs.
  23. 23. Wild Deficit Spending 4.
  24. 24. Several EU governments are engaged in deficit spending that exceeds EU guidelines.
  25. 25. The EU’s inability to stop them has continued to expose its inability to enforce its decisions.
  26. 26. ZIRP and QE 5.
  27. 27. The European Central Bank is holding interest rates below zero and buying private assets with public money.
  28. 28. It continues to prop up insolvent banks that must fail if the Eurozone economy is to ever recover.
  29. 29. Confrontation with Russia 6.
  30. 30. Russia and NATO are facing off in the Baltic Sea, forcing already stretched governments to boost defense spending.
  31. 31. Increased Terrorism 7.
  32. 32. ISIS-sponsored or ISIS-inspired terrorists are plotting attacks like the ones in Nice and Brussels.
  33. 33. End of Schengen Zone 8.
  34. 34. Border checks are in force within the supposedly free-travel Schengen zone countries, making one of the EU’s greatest achievements into a mockery.
  35. 35. Brexit Copycats 9.
  36. 36. Sizable minorities or even majorities in other European countries are agitating for their own exit opportunities.
  37. 37. Think Catalonia in Spain, the Lega Norde in Italy, the Marine Le Pen in France.
  38. 38. Right-Wing Parties 10.
  39. 39. The Supreme Court of Austria ruled that an extremely close presidential vote must be taken again.
  40. 40. This opens up the possibility that a far-right-wing party might take control of a major European country.
  41. 41. Italian Banking Crisis 11.
  42. 42. Italian banks are down some €400 billion, an enormous proportion of Italy’s GDP.
  43. 43. The Italians have successfully extended and pretended for years, but with government debt, the refugee crisis, and now Brexit, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has his hands full.
  44. 44. Germany’s Invisible Crisis 12.
  45. 45. Germany’s economy is teetering.
  46. 46. As they may soon be dealing with shrinking export volumes, just like China is now.
  47. 47. Distorted Markets 13.
  48. 48. The growing criticism of the ECB is growing, and negative rates are distorting European financial markets.
  49. 49. As you can see, Europe faces a host of serious problems…
  50. 50. And has done little to resolve all the issues, since it routinely takes years to achieve consensus.
  51. 51. The EU is trying to make the old agreement work when it clearly doesn’t…
  52. 52. And now that member nations know it doesn’t work, maybe they can design something that looks more like a trade union.
  53. 53. It would also need additional characteristics that don’t impinge upon national identity.
  54. 54. That would be an EU far different than we see today.
  55. 55. Forging it will require a completely different vision of the future than what we have seen in both the founding and the running of the current EU.
  56. 56. They have to rework 10,000+ pages of agreements, with bureaucrats fighting every inch of the way, trying to maintain their control.
  57. 57. The task is daunting, and it’s not altogether clear that they can pull it off.
  58. 58. But as we all know, the first step in solving a problem is to acknowledge the problem.
  59. 59. Now that it has, all we can really do is wait to see if there is the willingness for step two.
  60. 60. Join Hundreds of Thousands of Readers of John Mauldin’s Free Weekly Newsletter Follow Mauldin as he uncovers the truth behind, and beyond, the financial headlines in his free publication, Thoughts from the Frontline. Free Instant Access