This information is mostly gathered from the front page and the International Section of today’s New York Times, 2013-11-16. What I choose to cite from a long article, and conclusions I draw, though I am led by the writer, are still my own.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel recognizes that unemployment among EU Youth “is perhaps the most pressing problem facing Europe.” Not all of Europe, however; not Chancellor Merkel’s Germany.
No, the problem is most pressing in Southern Europe, where youth unemployment is well over 50 percent, at a shocking 58 percent in Greece and 55 percent in Spain among 15-24 year olds compared to Germany’s 8 percent.
In Spain, young people interviewed blame internal mismanagement, and “the austerity policy prescribed by its international creditors and Germany.” Germany is the only EU nation in which youth unemployment has decreased.
I do not understand how this is possible. Yes, I do know that Janet Yellin and others have suggested that had we employed similar austerity measures in the U.S., we could have found ourselves in another Great Depression.
What confuses me is how and why Germany gets the biggest and best piece of the pie. Hasn’t this happened before? I guess it was even worse when Germany had gotten what it perceived to be too small a piece of the pie. Germany is our ally, largely disarmed, no military threat, so the argument goes. In this era, global destabilization may have more to do with the policies of the International Monetary Fund, and other global economic entities than possession of arms. This is a war that Germany is winning with the Mercedes, the BMW, and the right officials in high places. There are “winners and losers” in the European economy today.
Does this doom the European Union? If benefits accrue to some nations, clearly at the expense of others–that, for instance, carry almost the entire responsibility for immigration from Africa and elsewhere, of political refugees and others seeking simple sustenance–what is the advantage to being a Eurozone nation? We are extremely involved in what has become a national conversation about bullying within the NFL (National Football League) and the culture of bullying within the NFL and the Miami Dolphins, in particular. Should we also be concerned about a culture of bullying in the EU? Germany is not alone. Bullies rarely act alone. But Germany is alone in a decrease in youth unemployment in two age categories spanning from 15 to 29-year-olds.
If I clamber out of bed to my PC, I will attach a graph, also from the New York Time, and time permitting, a poll.
Will no professionals and caretakers remain to run Greece and Spain and take care of senior citizens there because they will have emigrated to the EU nations to the north? This seems like more than cockamamie, Chicken Little sky-is-falling alarmism.
What can be done? Have I misread? Certainly I have not read deeply, or with subtlety, but I have been pondering the situation in Europe. If this is a European Union why is Southern Europe set adrift? Hmmm…. North and South. Sounds so familiar.
You who are economists, who are humanitarians, who are statisticians: how will this new movement of peoples across porous borders affect the EU? How will it affect all of us?
We are all connected.
NYTimes: Young and Educated in Europe, but Desperate for Jobs