The European Union’s Perilous Journey Into 2018

The European Union’s Perilous Journey Into 2018

Going into 2018 things are looking pretty messed up in the European Union. What with Angela Merkel still unable to cobble together a government some 14 weeks after the September vote. German citizens are growing ever more tired of Merkel and pressure is mounting from every side for her to make a decision.

Wolfgang Kubicki, vice-chair of the Free Democratic Party, even suggesting that Merkel may have purposefully sabotaged negotiations with his FDP and the Greens—in an effort, he claimed, to prolong her “grand coalition” between the CDU, CSU and SPD.

There are rumblings that Merkel might be pushed out of her Christian Democrats Union. She has been at the helm 12 years and the FDP are pushing for news ideas including cutting taxes and increased welfare support.

As these politicians jostle for seats at the table the European sovereign debt crisis isn’t going to just go away. The ECB can’t continue to buy up debt forever. Already inflation is rising in Germany. Supermarket prices are reportedly up 2.1 percent; workers are going demand wage hikes. Think of it as a snake eating its tale.

The European Union will be busy juggling Eurozone reforms in an effort to kick the debt-bomb down the road. At the same time expect the issue of migrant quotas to be front and center as Poland and Hungary refuse to accept Brussels diktats.

One EU source told Reuters: “We are confident that the ECJ will confirm validation, then they [Poland and Hungary] must abide by the decision.

The European Court of Justice is considering whether Hungary and Poland violated EU law by refusing migrant quotas. Expect the EU to threaten to withhold funding as a consequence, especially if both countries resist any ECJ ruling supporting EU law.

Add into the mix ongoing troubles in Spain with respect to Catalonia independence and potential upsets in Italian politics. Luigi Di Maio, 31, probable candidate of the Five Star Party, could become Italy’s next leader when the election is held in 2018. The Five Star Party is euro-skeptic and anti-business yet is suggesting large tax cuts. Because Italy’s debt is more than 130 percent of GDP it is therefore a massive risk to EU stability.

In Austria there is a new coalition between “the anti-immigration Austrian People’s Party and the anti-establishment Austrian Freedom Party” Sworn into office on December 18 the coalition will move Austria to the” vanguard of Western Europe’s resistance to mass migration” which has flooded into Europe from the middle-east and northern Africa.

In Eastern Europe, Poland and Hungary lead the way on resistance to mass-migration, adding Western Europe’s Austria to the list of nationalists is bound to draw much attention of other European citizens especially as national elections draw close.

The European Commission will be busy throughout 2018 trying to keeps its rickety house in order. As if that’s not worrying enough, add in the ongoing Brexit battles, national reforms to be posed Macron in France, Ukraine Russia tensions.

Nothing is certain and though geo-political events tend to shift incrementally global events can force massive sudden change. Will North Korea continue to test missiles into the Pacific Ocean? Will capital flow into the US as a result of President Trump’s new tax bill?

We’ll just have to keep watching.

At the same, at the grassroots level where average people live, they’ll somehow have to brace for another wave of migrants, Sweden will face up to terrorism, their falling national IQ rate and their big immigration mistake. This weekend, in Germany, as a direct result of Angela Merkel, Berlin’s young women will have to survive New Year’s Eve. Let’s hope it all works out, and Happy New Year.

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About the Author

Rob McLean
Rob McLean is a regular contributor to Halsey News commenting on Canadian and Global politics. He can be reached at rob@halseynews.com or on Twitter at @DailyRasp.