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Posted:  8/19/2014 8:38 AM #42766
CTD Blogger

Joined: 7/14/2009
Posts: 10828
Last Post: 8/20/2014
Subject: Europe's Malaise: The New Normal?
By George Friedman-Russia and Ukraine continue to confront each other along their border. Iraq has splintered, leading to unabated internal warfare. And the situation in Gaza remains dire. These events should be enough to constitute the sum total of our global crises, but they're not. On top of everything, the German economy contracted by 0.2 percent last quarter. Though many will dismiss this contraction outright, the fact that the world's fourth-largest economy (and Europe's largest) has shrunk, even by this small amount, is a matter of global significance.
Europe has been mired in an economic crisis for half a decade now. Germany is the economic engine of Europe, and it is expected that it will at some point pull Europe out of its crisis. There have been constant predictions that Europe may finally be turning an economic corner, but if Germany's economy is contracting (Berlin claims it will rebound this year), it is difficult to believe that any corner is being turned. It is becoming increasingly reasonable to believe that rather than an interlude in European prosperity, what we now see is actually the new normal. The key point is not that Germany's economy has contracted by a trivial amount. The point is that it has come time to raise the possibility that it could be a very long time before Europe returns to its pre-2008 prosperity and to consider what this means.

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Posted:  8/19/2014 3:16 PM #42778

Joined: 5/2/2012
Posts: 2063
Last Post: 9/30/2014
The EU is a socialist workers' paradise of short work weeks and long vacations, paid everything, leaves for almost any reason, and unearned job security. That it should eventually falter is a given as all socialist schemes, regardless of the virtue in their intent, must fail. But that's OK with the Germans, Italians, French and Greeks and everybody else, because a faltering EU just means universal misery and dependency, and as we all know, equality of outcomes is one of liberalism's many Holy Grails.

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