The situation there is grim, and the financial and social systems there are buckling:
The worst nightmares of […] Euroskeptics have been exceeded. The United States carried the luxury-goods industries of France and Italy and the engineered-products industries of Germany on its back for decades, but it will not and cannot do it anymore. Decline is reversible; more complicated is a death wish as thoroughly installed in the attitudes and practices of whole peoples as that of most of Europe.
If Europe cannot spark a demographic renewal, with a work force comprising fully half the people, flexible labor markets, tax rates that encourage savings and investment, an end to stealthily galloping inflation, and a reactivation of the economic and military muscle that alone confer credibility, it will quietly perish.
These are the results of cradle-to-grave statism, and Euro-socialist economic policies. There is no reason why this cannot happen here in the United States, in fact it probably already is happening. The laws of economics and common sense apply in our country as well as in Europe.
Well, not really. More like a middle-aged Muslim man verbally abusing an elderly non-Muslim woman on a train in Denmark for…um, “destroying” his bike:
As others on the train defend the woman, the Muslim douchebag starts bloviating about his “rights” and how the woman should respect him. Radical Islamofascism personified.
UPDATE. More from Pam Geller: “This is the sharia”
Moody’s Investors Service on Tuesday became the first rating agency to cut Portugal below investment grade, causing the 10-year Portuguese government bond yield to leap more than 1 percentage point to euro-era highs.
The agency cited worries that administrative problems and slow economic growth might prevent the Portuguese government from hitting ambitious targets to shrink its budget deficit over the next three years under a 78 billion euro international bailout.
But Moody’s also said efforts by the European Union to have private investors bear part of the burden of supporting Greece, through a “voluntary” rollover of maturing Greek debt, threatened investor confidence in Portugal as well.
If investors believe the EU may follow the Greek model and pressure them into bearing part of the cost of future aid to Portugal, they may become less willing to lend to Lisbon, reducing the chance that it can resume borrowing from markets in 2013 as planned, Moody’s said.
Saner heads in Europe are sounding the alarm:
Government bureaucrats in centralized Euro-capitals, picking winners and losers in a so-called free market never works.
Greek citizens are emptying savings accounts and buying gold as they brace themselves for the possibility of a sovereign default and a run on the banks.
Pledges by socialist prime minister George Papandreou that his government would “save the country” have been widely discounted by the public. However, parliament gave him a vote of confidence late on Tuesday night. The socialists have a six-seat majority in the 300-member house.
Sales of gold coins have soared as savers seek a safer and fungible source of value.
“When the global financial crisis started, our sales of coins to investors overtook bullion for the first time,” said Harry Krinakis, at Sepheriades, a Greek precious metals trader. “Now the sales ratio has reached five to one.”
Tomas, a computer technician, has exchanged his euro savings for gold coins: “I keep them at home just like my grandmother did in the second world war.”
Andreas, a supermarket manager, transferred the family savings to Munich earlier this year: “The Swiss banks aren’t interested unless you’ve got several hundred thousand euros.”
“We can’t trust the politicians to get us out of this mess [and] have to protect our families,” Sakis, a garage owner, said at an anti-austerity protest in Athens’ Syntagma square. “A bank collapse has got to be on the cards.” He added he had withdrawn his savings and placed them in a bank safe deposit box “for security. Who cares about interest right now?”
Somehow the Greeks are not so thrilled with their government’s insistence that everything will be peachy.
There seems to be a trend going on in European countries with nanny-state socialist tendencies recently:
Thousands of people last night filled Puerta del Sol, where demonstrators have used Twitter to attract supporters to a makeshift camp in the central Madrid plaza, mirroring the use of social media that fueled the recent protests in Tunisia andEgypt. They’ve plastered buildings with posters and slogans and are holding political discussions throughout the day.
Spain’s Socialist government, which faces regional and local elections on May 22, turned against its traditional base to push through the deepest budget cuts in at least three decades and overhaul labor and pension laws. The collapse of Spain’s debt-fueled property boom left the country with an unemployment rate of 21 percent, and 45 percent of young people out of work.
“The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer,” Pepa Garcia, a 34 year-old unemployed actress, said in an interview yesterday at the Puerta del Sol. “People should be indignant; some banks are getting rescued with our money while we’re almost drowning.”
Spain’s bank-rescue fund has committed around 11 billion euros ($16 billion) to lenders suffering from the collapse of the real estate market. Savings banks need another 14 billion euros to meet new capital requirements, the Bank of Spain estimates. The government is pushing lenders to raise those funds from private investors, with the national rescue facility known as FROB acting as a backstop.
The Socialists are set to suffer a setback in most of the regional elections, polls show. The party will be beaten in the region of Castilla-La Mancha, which it has controlled for three decades, and may lose the city of Barcelona for the first time since Spain’s return to democracy in 1975, according to a poll by the state-run Center for Sociological Research on May 5.
[Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis] Zapatero has angered traditional supporters by slashing public wages, freezing pensions and seeking to change wage- bargaining rules as part of his efforts to cut the euro-region’s third-largest budget deficit and shield the Spanish economy from the sovereign debt crisis.
There are lessons to be learned here in the United States, as more and more people become dependent on a government check for support. The government should always be considered temporary help to your situation, because as fast as the government gives, so can it take away.
It’s the firm belief of bureaucracies with control of the citizenry’s treasure that the allotment of said treasure is to the benefit of societies, and the healer of all of a nation’s ills.
In Greece, not so much:
The eurozone’s first ever bailout of a debt-laden member country is failing and will need to be renegotiated exactly a year after the €110bn (£96bn) rescue package was agreed for Greece.
Following secret talks in Luxembourg on Friday between Athens and some of the key EU players, it emerged that Greece will not be able to meet the terms of last year’s rescue and is hoping to ask the eurozone for more funds.
As Britain made clear it did not want to offer any more support for Greece as part of an EU package or a bilateral loan, investors remain unconvinced of the ability of Athens to sustain its €340bn debt load.
Signalling that his government will struggle to finance itself on the bond markets by next year – which was part of the deal struck with the eurozone and the IMF – the Greek finance minister, George Papaconstantinou, said: “We will either go out to markets or use the recent decision by the EU that allows the European fund to buy Greek bonds. The markets continue to disbelieve in our country.”
Greece is known for government-subsidized, 50-year old retirees and citizens dependent on government money. Turns out that’s not such a good thing.