It was usually acknowledged that in the past so called euro scepticism or anti euro sentiments where confined just to the shores of the UK, but the collapse of the Greek economy along with Cyprus. Spain and Italy’s economies are now in a downward tailspin, with Portugal and Ireland just about keeping their heads above the waterline. People are asking were is this euro dream that Barroso and Van Rompuy keep preaching about when people have lost their jobs and their income. The Brussels elite keep talking about “populism” like its a dirty word, little realising, or wanting to listen to the real voice of the people.
The tide as turned against the ruling Brussels eurocrats, and worst still the EU Commission is running around trying to come up with new and fresh idea’s. But business as usual will not work this time around, just churning out more EU rules and regulations will not cut it any longer with people’s growing impatience. The EU summits, the smiling photo ops of gathered politicians is becoming a well worn spectacle that people are beginning to see through now.
Everyone speaks of growth, but where is that growth to be found. Northern Europe as growth of sorts though not strong growth, even the mighty Germany’s growth is weakening. Southern Europe remains the real big problem, the elephant in the room that no one really wants to tackle. The Trokia of the IMF, ECB, and Brussels waves the big stick demanding reforms to the bloated over staffed public sectors of Italy, Spain, Greece, and Portugal, but these reforms drag on and are resisted every step of the way by southern European economies. Decades of deeply embedded political croynism and corruption are difficult to remove quickly.
People are asking deep questions about the whole eurozone dream, is the euro really worth all this pain. Different countries economies grow at different speeds. Can northern eurozone countries keep on bailing out southern eurozone countries indefinitely Northern eurozone economies like Germany’s growing resentment to giving their hard earned cash to struggling southern eurozone economies. Southern eurozone economies resentment at having their economies controlled and dictated to by the north of Europe, and the IMF, ECB and Brussels. This is a powder keg just waiting to explode, mean while back in the Brussels Bubble they will be holding yet another summit, another meeting, another crisis?
Weak growth means weak tax revenues, eurozone growth is needed like a viagria pill to get the wheels of the eurozone economy turning again; but the eurozone still as a long lasting addiction to red tape and over burdening regulations which Brussels, EU Commission and MEPs in the European Parliament seem to enjoy churning out. Will the worlds future growing economies be in Asia, as Asia is expanding while Europe is contracting. The eurozone needs to redefine it’s self and re-invigorate real economic growth ASAP, but can it change and evolve that rapidly in a global world to create growth and jobs?
Merkel and the Germans want more economic growth for the eurozone, but Merkel knows this means less regulation and freeing up enterprise and innovation, something the EU is not that good at doing. Particularly Hollande will oppose any much moves to a more leaner and efficient eurozone, as the French have a very large public sector. In many ways this problem lies at the heart of Europe’s economic problems, big state sector verses private sector. In many Eurozone countries getting a job in the public sector is looked upon as a job for life, with early retirement, and a secure state pension. Problem is the maths just do not add up, as the state as to pay more towards the pensions and wages of the state sector empolyee’s through the countries tax revenues, so an economic imbalance grows, and so a ever widening spending deficit is created. Most European countries are struggling to get any where near the EU target of 3%.
In the past the EU’s cherished projects was to build new motorways and airports in countries such as Spain and Greece, only now people realise many of those airports are under used with very low passengers numbers, just look at the new Beja airport in Portugal, only offers one single passenger flight per week. Economic growth cannot be created just by big spending projects, building new motorways that don’t really go any where, its a false economy. Cutting the red tape and encouraging people to start up their own small businesses is where the EU should focus its energy, but at the moment thats easier said than done with many economies in the doldrums and eurozone banks very reluctant and refuse to lend money, it all becomes a downward economic cycle.
With the growth of social media, people are voicing their opinions much more loudly, just look at the recent national Italian elections and the powerful use of twitter and facebook to galvanise public feelings and opinion in Italy, as the Italians have had enough of the many decades of the same old corrupt political system with in Italy.
Brussels also as been for far too long closed and tightly controlled, distant from peoples normal life’s. Its EU institutions have lost all relevance to its citizens and voters, just look at the fiasco of the Brussels to Strasbourg MEPs travelling circus and the waste in public money this spectacle causes. Three unelected EU presidents, and I have a hard time remembering the 3rd one. Most official EU websites are designed to bore there reader’s into a deep sleep or a coma.The EU needs to change and quickly, but can it really change and relate and connect to peoples real daily life’s EU voter apathy is like a stone falling off a cliff. Its time to wake up Brussels and start listening to what the people really want, or you may find yourself thrown out of office and your cherished EU institutions closed down permanently?