Sunday 4 December could likely mark the beginning of the end of the EU, again. Two events occur on this day: the first is a referendum in Italy and the second is the re-run of elections in Austria. Unlike the Brexit vote, the opinion polls are already showing that the anti-EU option is likely to win in both votes.
In Italy, a referendum on centralising political power in order to make change easier to implement is looking very likely to return a no result. If this happens, the Prime Minister has promised to do a David Cameron and resign. It could also lead to the collapse or bailout of the Italian banking system (already struggling with high levels of bad debt). Such a collapse could in turn force Italy out of the Euro or even destroy the Euro.
In Austria, Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party is leading (albeit only just) in the opinion polls and could become the President of Austria. His campaign is to put Austria first and end the “welcoming culture” towards immigration.
Somehow, Brexit might not be the worst thing to happen to the EU project in 2016.
Of the two events the Italian referendum is the one to watch. For anything that involves the Euro speaks directly to the pain and sufferings of a whole generation sacrificed on the altar of the EU project. That generation is my generation – millennials in Spain, Greece and Italy have unemployment rates ranging from 40 – 50% (as of July 2016), have to live with parents because they cannot afford otherwise and have no hope for change with the most optimistic estimates suggesting a decade of stagnation or recession. They are a generation betrayed, left to economic ruin in the name of Europe.
And why? Because these three countries are locked into a single currency and a monetary policy determined largely by Germany and what best suits the German economy. That’s ok if your economy is similar but when your economy is heading rapidly downhill, the last thing you want is a strong currency.
The fall in Sterling after the Brexit vote is far from a crisis and is instead a necessary balancing mechanism for the economy. It makes imports more expensive and exports cheaper, helps to correct the balance of payments deficit and can encourage foreign spending within the UK.
Such a currency windfall is just what Greece, Italy and Spain could do with. But it lost to them for they are not free to set their own monetary policy. Instead, they are enslaved to an uncaring EU which will see the Euro project continue no matter the human cost.
It is a great evil of our time. A deliberate policy to penalise the young and damage the economic prospects of lesser economies to stop the Euro from going into meltdown. And this is to say nothing of the austerity policies that these countries are forced to accept in return for bailouts. I’m a big fan of austerity (one day I might even see it in the UK) but the idea of forcing it on another country is grim indeed.
Sunday 4 December could finally see the first nail in the coffin of the Euro. I hope many will join me in rejoicing. For while the fallout is going to be painful and the collapse of the Euro a tragedy to behold, it will at least offer countries hope in a better future. For in the Euro they can expect nothing but to lurch from one crisis to the next with year after endless year of recession. Outside the Euro, there is at least the hope of change and growth, a vital and needed readjustment to prosperity.
What of Austria? It provides an example of the false lie of multicultural happiness. The alt-right have a piece of dogma that diversity + proximity = war. Now, this is far too absolute for my tastes but I would happily re-phase it to: diversity + proximity = social difficulty (particularly in the absence of Christianity, for only diversity + proximity + Jesus can equal peace). Human nature does not cope well with diversity – a sad but necessary fact of existence. For the last few decades this truth has been routinely ignored with any warning voice being labelled as “racist”.
Thanks to Brexit, Trump and Merkel’s ridiculous decision to let in a million refugees, this denial no longer means anything. The truth is out: mass immigration is very hard and too much immigration causes major social problems - human beings are too flawed for it to be otherwise.
In a lovely world full of flowers, butterflies and pink fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows then a single currency promotes peace and prosperity and mass immigration leads to all racial differences being put aside.
In the real world, the facts of life are conservative and the above is nothing more than a collective delusion we briefly managed to maintain during a time of great economic prosperity. Sunday 4 December is going to be a dark day for the EU but a good day to face up to the reality of the failures of the Euro and mass immigration. I fear this picture of truth will be lost in a collective wail of existential anguish.