The sludge of spendthrift government is spreading across the continent of Europe. In Greece, public employees staged protests even though an actuarial analysis revealed that public employee pensions were unsustainable. In Portugal, politicians and ordinary people huffed about the machinations of Germans and Brits against Mediterranean countries. Ireland, once the Celtic Tiger, is now absorbing the impact of a European Union bailout, and the ownership of Irish public debt by British banks is a presumed impetus. Spain is on the lips of nearly all the financial experts looking at excessive public debt, and it has seemed only a matter of time before the whole Iberian peninsula was going to be rolled over to the intensive care ward of the European Union’s fiscal hospital.
The viral exposure of a video of an anti-European Union speech given earlier this week at European Parliament has some political analysts wondering if England will see the rise of its own Tea Party movement, as much of the sentiments articulated throughout the speech echo the concerns addressed by America’s Tea Parties.
While the benefits of the items revealed in some of the Wikileaks reports are debatable, one cannot help but wonder about the motives of Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange. According to conservative pundit Glenn Beck, the ultimate purpose of Wikileaks is to bring about necessary anarchy that would eventually lead to a restructuring of power.
Over the course of centuries, Switzerland has developed a reputation as a place of sanctuary for dissidents and refugees from oppression. From John Calvin and the Huguenots in the 16th century to German Jews fleeing the Holocaust in the 20th century, Switzerland has been a refuge. However, the Swiss are now sending a clear message to foreigners residing in their country: “Do not take such hospitality for granted.”
The financial crisis in Europe, which paralyzed Iceland, which sent Greece into a spiral of angry confrontations with public employees unions, which is tottering Portugal and Spain, and which now is shaking Ireland, has produced a collapse of the government. A $100 billion bailout from the European Union — equal to almost $25,000 per person in the Republic of Ireland — is the catalyst for the collapse of the government. Moody’s has lowered the rating on Irish debt, meaning that the interest required to pay this government debt will rise.