Citizens Unhappy With Leaders
As European governments are striving to reform their nations, European voters are reforming their governments.
It’s been a hard couple of months for Europe’s ruling parties, particularly in France and Germany.
In its late March elections, France’s center-right and right-wing majorities expected to take some hits, but they were completely unprepared for the scope of the left’s tour de force: Socialists, Communists and Greens won 50 percent of the vote and 25 of 26 regional governments at stake.
France was a striking example, where elections dealt a heavy blow to the right. French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, who—under President Jacques Chirac—has headed up two years of unpopular economic reforms, barely retained his post. This means it will be difficult for Paris to push further reforms through on a disgruntled populace.
German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder took a similar thrashing, with his center-left party dropping to its lowest approval rating since World War ii. These numbers came in response to a series of reforms last year that cut unemployment benefits and hiked health costs.
In late March, Italy endured a one-day strike by millions of workers across the country protesting a government initiative to raise the retirement age of Italian workers to 60.
Post-World War ii socialist governments have given Western Europeans a way of life laden with social benefits. Now that their governments are trying to trim the fat in an effort to make Europe’s economies more competitive in the worldwide market, the people are lashing back.
But Europeans know that reforms are necessary for their gear-grinding economies. Fifty-eight percent of Germans who responded to an independent research poll said that their government’s reforms were wrong, but 93 percent agreed that those reforms were not enough to solve the economic problems they were facing. Forty-five percent of French citizens, despite the election results, thought continued reforms were necessary (Christian Science Monitor, March 31).
Europeans know they are experiencing economic stagnation. But they are not happy with their current governments’ bungling reforms.
It may seem like the only solution is a leader strong enough to whip the European Union’s 25 separate economies in line and maintain the support of the people at the same time.
Bible prophecy indicates that just such a man will come on the scene—a man who will unite the Continent and propel its economies forward (or its “merchants,” as Revelation 18:3 reads).
For more on the future of the European economic morass, and how it will be solved, request our free booklets Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast? and Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.