La Dolce Vita, the good life, is no longer achievable for millions of Italians. Italy is the third largest Eurozone country and is in dire straits. Public debt has ballooned to well over 130 percent! Is this money ever going to be repaid? Who is going to do that? The country has one of the fastest aging populations in the world. Italian women, when having any children at all, prefer to have just one child. In order for a society to maintain a healthy demographic balance, they should have at least two. Nonetheless, unemployment, from a European perspective, is relatively low at 12 percent. But wait, youth unemployment is virtually at 40 percent. So there are no jobs in Italy, public debt is out of control and its aging population lays a heavy burden on both income taxes and Social Security payments.
Spain is one of the Eurozone’s largest countries. It is not in a recession, but in a downright depression. Do you need some figures? Unemployment stands at 26.3 percent?. That means more than one out of every four workers is idling and receiving benefits from government and waiting for better days. Even worse, youth unemployment is a staggering 57 percent. Indeed, more than one out of every two youngsters is out of work or is not expected to find one soon. Do you need more proof? Spanish government is spending billions on Social Security, money it simply does not have. Public debt has gone from a fairly modest 30 percent in 2007 to well over 90 percent this year and will soon move to 100 percent and beyond.
Portugal is one of the smaller Eurozone countries in the Mediterranean Sea with an economy that is in shambles. The country had to be bailed out by the rest of the Eurozone to the tune of €78 billion. Public debt is around 128 percent, hardly lower than Italy’s. Unemployment hovers around 16.5 percent, which is unsustainable in the medium term. Youth unemployment stands at a depressing h 42 percent.
Although it seems that Portugal has lived up to its promises as part of the bail-out programme, the country will need a second bail-out coming 2014. Of course, it will be paid by other Eurozone members having a healthier economy.
Europe in shambles
Politicians babble about the worst of the crisis being behind us, or even ‘fixed.’ That is just cheap talk. The hard facts & figures prove them wrong. Europe is on the verge of a genuine collapse. On the one hand, this is because the Euro simply does not work, but makes things worse instead. On the other hand, Eurozone member states are simply unable to devaluate their currencies as they are part of the single currency bloc. As long as this flawed monetary currency, or rather political currency, is kept afloat, less well-off countries within the Eurozone will continue to suffer.
The ECB, the European equivalent of the Fed, will do ‘whatever it takes’ to keep the single currency alive. For now, markets have accepted this, but in the near term they will call their bluff. When, not if, that happens, the euro will be gone and with it billions worth of paper assets, wreaking havoc on an already damaged economy.
Does the graph below suggest the crisis has been solved?
Courtesy: Zerohedge… of course
Europe has run out of money
The Eurozone has close to 20 million unemployed. These are millions of people requiring need food, housing and medical care. This is simply unaffordable in the medium term. Youth unemployment is a ticking time bomb. It will not take long before young people will take to the streets, demanding jobs and a comfortable future.
Has the crisis been solved? Will the Eurozone recover any time soon? We would not bet on it. Europe is an ageing, moribund continent and the sh*t will hit the fan sooner rather than later. Europe has simply run out of money due to its overgenerous entitlements. What will it take for people to start noticing?
Source: Sprout Money