Tag Archives: European Union

Eurozone Youth Flight

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

Minsk is the capital of…?

Quick! Can you tell me of which European nation Minsk is the capital? I confess to not knowing. This largely agricultural nation which has a history dating back to 5,000 BCE, suffered terribly in World War II, losing about a third of its population, most of its Jewish population, and physical devastation including (Wiki is my source) 85% of its buildings at the hands of Nazi Germany. Let me rephrase that: these people, non-Jews and Jews alike, were not “lost,” they were killed in the war or in concentration camps.

This nation is home to four UNESCO World Heritage Sites, one of which is considered a cultural site, the Nesvizh Castle of the Radziwill Family, dates back to the early 1500s. The site is also known as The Architectural, Residential, and Cultural Complex of the Radziwill Family at Nesvizh.

One of the countries this nation borders is Ukraine. The 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine (was it a complete meltdown?) affected about one fourth of the land and five million of the 9,5 million people of this nation. Rates of birth defects have risen. Caesium binders are dispersed and rapeseed is planted since the rapeseed oil plant binds radioactive caesium.

Side note: In Canada and the U.S. rapeseed has been genetically modified to create the highly unwholesome, unnatural canola oil plant. Don’t buy or use canola oil!

What is this nation with a population almost exactly the size of the population of Sweden? It is Belarus.

As Americans, our geographical isolation is one contributing factor to our sometimes profound ignorance of other nations and international affairs. Though I often watch BBC International news, I must plead ignorance in this case, and hope that someone from Belarus, or with greater knowledge than that I have hastily acquired, will comment and inform us.

Belarus declared independence from the former SSSR in 1990. The European Union has just voted to continue sanctions–trade sanctions–against Belarus. Belarus is a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, all members of the former Soviet Union.

Learn something every day!