Saturday, July 4, 2015

Looking beyond Greece - Europe's disasters

Greece is not the only problem in Europe, there are more countries that may end up having trouble with financing their debts. France, for example - Explosion de la dette : après la Grèce, la France ? And, if you look at unemployment and other economic figures, are not Spain and Portugal in trouble? And what about Finland?

That country, Finland, is where Paul Krugman begins his article: Europe's many economic disasters:

"Let us talk, for starters, about Finland, which could not be more different from that corrupt, irresponsible country to the south. Finland is a model European citizen; it has honest government, sound finances and a solid credit rating, which lets it borrow money at incredibly low interest rates.
It is also in the eighth year of a slump that has cut real gross domestic product per capita by 10 per cent and shows no sign of ending. In fact, if it were not for the nightmare in southern Europe, the troubles facing the Finnish economy might well be seen as an epic disaster."

And what do you think of this excerpt of an article I just read :

"No future
Whatever happens in the short term with Greece, the single currency has no long-term future.
Here’s why, in two words: youth unemployment.
Almost half of young Greeks are jobless, according to official statistics from Eurostat. That may not be much of a surprise, but the figure for Spain is almost as bad at 49.3 per cent. In Italy, youth unemployment is running at 41.5pc, a third of youngsters in Portugal are out of work as are nearly a quarter in France. The full significance of this does not seem to have been grasped. The single currency has never been a viable economic or even political idea, it is part of a dream of a new Europe born out of the ashes of the Second World War and the fall of the Berlin Wall.
These events still resonate with the older generations who pushed the single currency project, but are receding into history.
A new generation is reaching adulthood with no memory of the Cold War and no sense of the emotional impetus behind the euro and the hopes for a united Europe.
Yet they are the ones being made to pay the heaviest price for a noble but utterly futile dream.
The Greek experience shows how the single currency is held together by sheer political willpower. It is strained now, even with Angela Merkel, who was brought up in the old East Germany, at the helm.
There seems no hope of it holding up when today’s twentysomethings are in the seats of power."

I think youth unemployment in Europe is one of the important reasons to change course and come up with better economic policies and better democratic policymaking practices in the European Union. It's high time to review current practices and give new hope to European citizens, both 'old' and young citizens. Not only in southern Europe but also in northern Europe.

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