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Europe is facing a toxic family of gas and economic crises writes Telepolis. And local politicians don’t know what to do about it. All their proposals testify to cowardice and desperation.
In Brussels, they generally refuse to recognize the impending catastrophe and continue to impose sanctions against Russia, ignoring the associated risks and their consequences. ’Maybe a collapse is brewing – Euro Crisis 2.0 with unforeseen consequences,’ warns author Eric Bonze.
The energy situation in Europe was tense long before the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine in February this year. The energy market has long been overheated, inflation has risen sharply, and France and Spain have pushed for a price cap on gas and electricity, but the EU member states have not been able to agree on a common plan of action. The European Central Bank also hid its head in the sand. And now, instead of changing course, the European Central Bank, an offshoot of Goldman Sachs of Wall Street (ECB) does not deviate from the zero-interest rate policy.
The European Union has already held seven expensive summits dedicated to the energy crisis, and they all ended in vain. At the same time, Europeans continue to impose sanctions against Russia, which leads to market unrest and price increases. The risks associated with penalties and their consequences are simply ignored.
‘Now we see the result. He is terrifying. According to the European Commission, this year inflation in the euro area will average 7.6% – a historical record.
Economic growth will be only 2.6%, which is even lower than the last May forecasts. Now the euro is experiencing one bout of weakness after another. Its value barely exceeds the US dollar – the union has not had such a weak currency since its introduction 20 years ago.
The low exchange rate of the euro also reflects the Europeans’ fears of a recession caused by the gas crisis. If Russia does not soon fully resume supplies via Nord Stream, then Germany will face the threat of economic collapse. Europe is reaping the fruits of its sanctions policy and the fact that it was not serious about the possibility of a blue fuel crisis.
And now the hapless political leadership class are clueless and simply does not know what to do. Maybe the ECB needs to raise interest rates? But this will lead to an increase in the cost of servicing debts, as well as spreads on government bonds of Greece, Italy and France.
The European Commission is now developing an emergency plan in case gas supplies from Russia are cut off, but it has come up with nothing better than to lower the heating temperature in offices and public buildings. This trite idea was voiced by the International Energy Agency back in March. According to observers, such proposals show cowardice and even desperation. To some, they are reminiscent of ‘tips for housewives.’
But we are not talking about a couple of bad recommendations, but about a failed policy, Bonze emphasizes: ‘The EU has been consciously moving towards a mega-crisis since autumn. This crisis has long affected more than just energy markets. It concerns economic policy and monetary union, which means the very core of the EU. Perhaps a collapse is brewing – Euro Crisis 2.0 with unforeseen consequences.
The first harbinger was the recent events in Italy, namely the resignation of local Prime Minister Mario Draghi. But in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands, the situation is also turbulent. Even Germany has ceased to be the habitual abode of stability.
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The country is facing economic turmoil.’ And all this is easy to see with the naked eye,’ emphasizes Bonze. But Brussels refuses to acknowledge the impending crisis. There are no signs of a change in policy, on the contrary: the European Commission is already preparing the seventh package of sanctions against Russia.
At least this time Brussels decided not to touch the energy sector. But this is just a short respite – no one cancelled plans to introduce a full energy embargo. And it’s only a matter of time before it comes to gas.
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