Davos Meets During Crisis in Europe

Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

Davos Meets During Crisis in Europe

As the World Economic Forum meets in Switzerland, signs of deepening crisis mount on the Continent.

As the movers and shakers at the top of the global economy meet for their annual talkfest in Davos, Switzerland, how many will recall the unbelievable declaration the then-U.S. secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, made about the condition of the U.S. economy just one year ago in Davos?

In her opening address to the World Economic Forum in January last year, Rice stated that “The U.S. economy is resilient, its structure is sound, and its long-term economic fundamentals are healthy.” She went on, “America has no permanent enemies; it can be friends with any country that shares its values and believes that diplomacy can make a world where enemies become friends.”

Perhaps that is what the bankers and the broken brokers of Wall Street really believed as they frantically worked to fill the derivatives bubble to bursting point last year.

Today, it’s a different story. One wonders what tricks Davos keynote speaker Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has up his kgb sleeve for delivery to Davos and the world at this year’s conference. He has already publicly declared what French President Nicolas Sarkozy only hinted at in September last year: that the whole blame for the global economic and financial crisis can be pinned on America.

That Davos will present a forum for America-bashing is a given, though the cult of Obama will be well represented. No doubt the Davos elite will give a public nod of approval to the new U.S. president, even as they beaver away behind the scenes to cement their alliances, intent on taking full advantage of the greenhorn ex-senator to meet their own ends as he rides the wave of self-delusion.

Yet, even as Davos’s own form of delusion plays out for yet another year as the bubbly flows at the ritzy ski resort, the rumbles from the streets in Europe are gathering momentum.

Following the public protests and riots that have taken place in Greece this winter, Spain, Denmark, Bulgaria and Latvia have all witnessed unrest in the streets as the global recession bites down hard producing loss of jobs and a general state of insecurity across the Continent.

Workers in France are now calling for a general strike to take place this afternoon to protest the loss of jobs and the impact of the recession that is hitting the French economy, the first in 16 years. France exhibited its biggest monthly rise in unemployment on record in November.

The strike, which will hit the transport sector in France, coincides with a strike by railway unions in Germany.

With an estimated 69 percent support from the French community, the Paris daily Le Parisiene noted that this is the first time in Sarkozy’s presidency that a “social movement” has had such public approval. This is the greatest civil unrest that President Sarkozy has faced since his election.

No doubt the bankers, merchants and politicians who meet in Davos will attempt to placate the masses and settle the stock markets with carefully constructed public statements. However, the reality is that Europe is starting to hurt. The record shows that when Europe hurts economically, the people hit the streets. When the people hit the streets, there are always those extremists waiting in the wings to take political advantage of the situation.

Who will it be that gives the masses a “whiff of grapeshot,” to use Napoleon’s famous phrase, when things turn nasty on the Continent? Do not be surprised if it comes from mitteleuropa, from a land whose people historically clamor for order to emanate from chaos. A land that has a history of swinging alarmingly to the right when crisis hits Europe.

Read our booklet Nahum—An End-Time Prophecy for Germany for more on this subject.