EU—The Coming Storm
The year 2010 promises to be a rocky one for the world’s largest trading bloc, the European Union. The European Commission has cited 20 of the EU’s 27 member nations for unacceptable budget deficits. The latest shock comes from Greece, having revised its former deficit estimate for 2009 from 3.7 percent of gross domestic product to between 10 and 12 percent. That estimate is between three and four times the EU’s self-imposed limit of a permissible 3 percent maximum of gdp for EU economies.
Germany and France, the largest economies within the EU, have forecast 2009 budget deficit estimates of 3.7 percent and 8.2 percent respectively. It is interesting to note that Germany, the prime mover for the imposition of the EU’s Stability and Growth Pact which limits EU budget deficits to that 3 percent maximum, has been one of the most consistent offenders, for years having posted deficits consistently above that figure.
At the other end of the scale—the smaller and weaker economies within the EU—concerns run even deeper. The Guardian reported that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has warned, “The countries of Central and Eastern Europe will enjoy only a ‘fragile and patchy’ economic recovery in 2010 and the region remains vulnerable to the sort of banking crises that hit Latvia this month” (October 15). Latvia, which narrowly avoided complete financial meltdown a week ago, is estimating its 2009 budget deficit will reach a whopping 10 percent!
During a conference on banking regulation in Brussels this month, Nobel prize winner in economics Joseph Stiglitz observed that “the financial crisis is forcing the EU to re-examine its cornerstone policy area—the single market” (EUobserver, October 12). “The current solution,” Stiglitz said, “which is to put undue burdens on those particular countries that followed the model of deregulation, is one that we might want to question.”
That is tantamount to questioning the very foundational economic policy upon which the European Union is founded.
EUobserver further reported that “The single market theme was later picked up by the EU’s economy commissioner, Joaquin Almunia, who warned that differences in financial regulation across the EU pose a dangerous threat to the bloc’s internal market. … Mr. Almunia said it was vital that the EU iron out its own in-house discrepancies or risk contagion to the real economy” (ibid.).
The financial and economic storm gathering in Europe is all grist for the mill to the elites who are currently busy developing the rules and regulations which, via the global regulatory authority granted to the EU-contrived Financial Stability Board (fsb), will soon impose its measures, not just on Europe, but on the world’s 20 leading economies.
The greater the impending economic crisis, the louder the call will come for global financial and economic regulation. That call will be music to the ears of German-Catholic elites who are behind the push for global regulation by the fsb. Each call for tighter financial and economic regulation simply brings us closer to the realization of their imperial vision of Europe—in reality, the prophesied seventh, and final, resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire (Revelation 13:16-17).