Australia—Euro Crisis Hits Down Under

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Australia—Euro Crisis Hits Down Under

Australia’s banks and businesses batten down their hatches in the face of spreading eurozone contagion.

“The European debt crisis is the greatest challenge facing the Australian economy, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd says. … The European crisis now has direct consequences for the Australian economy and jobs, he added. ‘This is now the greatest challenge facing the Australian economy’” (Australian Associated Press, December 3).

Though Australia lies 10,000 air miles from the heartland of Europe, its economic destiny is still closely tied to that continent.

In the wake of the triple effect of America’s subprime mortgage fiasco of 2007, the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008, followed by the euro crisis hitting a year later, Australia has been looked upon as a bellwether survivor within the ongoing global economic fallout from these crises.

Both the Aussie dollar and capital investment opportunities in the nation’s mining and associated industries continue to hold value, essentially stimulated by high demand for the nation’s rich mineral resources, especially from a booming China.

That is all about to change.

Last week, three of Australia’s leading banks—Westpac, anz and the nation’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of Australia—each warned of the nation becoming hard hit by the systemic euro crisis.

Meanwhile, in the face of rising concerns expressed by both corporate ceos and bankers, the popularity of the nation’s Labor government is at a record low.

The land Down Under is moving into choppy waters.

Under the headline “Australian ceos are bracing for the euro debt fallout,” the Australian newspaper’s business commentator John Durie observed: “Australia’s business leaders are heading into the Christmas break with trepidation amid the rolling sovereign debt crisis in Europe, concern that Canberra is fiddling while Europe burns, and fearing they will witness even more difficult trading conditions and volatility next year” (December 17).

Durie summed up the results of the Australian’s annual ceo survey thus: “In short, it’s been a very tough year and all of the 56 survey respondents expected the tough conditions to remain next year. The economy is being held hostage by events in Europe” (ibid; emphasis added throughout).

In such an unpredictably volatile business environment, Durie notes big business is calling for more effective political leadership of the nation.

Longtime Australian political commentator Paul Kelly observes of Australia that “The 2011 year inaugurated what is best called the New Australian Stress—the nation is … trapped in a domestic political mire that threatens to drown Gillard Labor” (ibid). This is a reference to the perceived weakness of Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s Labor government in failing to step up to the plate with aggressive, workable government policies that address the challenges that today’s market conditions are imposing on the land Down Under.

Kelly refers to two endemic problems in Australia, which as an ex-pat Aussie from that sun-drenched land I can certainly identify with: the nation’s prosperity and complacency. The two normally go hand in hand. It’s a fact of human nature. But add to those the impact of a “she’ll be right, mate” culture—which, though happily optimistic, can also bespeak a head-in-the-sand approach to problems—and you have a national character mix that is just not sharpened to deal with the level of today’s global crises.

As the biblical saying goes, “Where there is no vision the people perish.” Australia, akin to its fellow Anglo-Saxon peers—especially the United States and Britain—and most especially the fractious European Union, is simply suffering from a dearth of strong, effective, visionary leadership. This, at a time when, as Paul Kelly intimates, “huge problems are accumulating for Australia” (ibid).

Kelly’s assessment is that at the heart of both America’s gigantic failure to deal with its debt of unthinkable proportions and Europe’s failure to tackle the current eurozone crisis, is a potent lack of true leadership: “It is poor governance in the eurozone and the U.S. that has undermined the developed world and damaged the lives of citizens. The eurozone faces a certain recession in 2012. The unknowns are its depth along with the economic and political fallout. While the U.S. picture has brightened in recent months, its economy has yet to recover from the 2008-09 recession. The fear in the Atlantic zone is that the scale of the problems outrank the quality of the leadership. This is the worry that besets Australia” (ibid).

The recent announcement from the British Foreign Office that it is assembling plans to repatriate Brits from Spain and Portugal in the event of a bank meltdown will do little to reduce that worry.

Sara Moore, in her book released last year titled How Hitler Came to Power, maintains that Germany created a climate for world war by using “a banking crisis that had real repercussions across its own and … other economies.”

Déjà vu 2011?

The question is, will today’s banking crisis, inarguably being overseen by Germany’s political elites, have the same effect that it did in 1939?

In a speech delivered to the National Press Club last month, the chief executive of the Australian Industry Group, Heather Ridout, stated: “In Europe, fiscal policy and a lack of resolve is entrenching recession with nothing left to support growth. This is a most depressing scenario. The UK, Japan and the U.S. don’t face much easier choices” (National Press Club, Canberra, November 30).

Turning to the Australian comparison, Ridout declared, “The sharp rise in our relative costs has turned us into a high-cost country: the Scandinavia of the Asia-Pacific. But without Scandinavian productivity levels.”

Of that latter statement, Paul Kelly observed, “This hits a raw nerve in Australia’s psychology.”

Kelly rightly observes that the Australian government “struggles with a perplexing policy conundrum: how to protect Australia from the European crisis” and at the same time exploit its closest market—Asia.

Since the days of Prime Minister Paul Keating’s government, certain voices have sought to have Australia reject its traditional British and European heritage and align itself more closely with its Asian neighbors in efforts to capitalize on growing Asian markets.

Yet, as Paul Kelly writes, “The shallow talk about exploiting the Asian century conceals the magnitude of the economic, political and cultural changes this involves” (op. cit.).

As Kelly muses, “Maybe Labor is too battered and bruised. Maybe it is too fixated on survival to devise an effective governing strategy. Maybe it is too focused on internal problems rather than Australia’s problems.”

That’s the problem with human governments. They rise. They divide. Their vision fragments. They fall.

Unique in all of mankind’s history, there’s only one form of government that has arisen and fallen to yet arise again, nine times in its history, dating back to 31 b.c.—the Roman Empire—six of its resurrections being under the aegis of the Vatican, termed the Holy Roman Empire.

Australia doesn’t know it yet, but what Jon Durie calls “the euro debt fallout” currently affecting Australia’s economy is in reality the outcome of a strategy which certain EU elites have overseen since the close of World War ii to promote yet another—in essence what will be the seventh and final—resurrection of that old Holy Roman Empire.

Certain voices of alarm at this prospect are being increasingly raised in the British press. Not so much in the land Down Under, suffering from what historian Geoffrey Blainey termed “the tyranny of distance.” Distance from its cultural roots.

Australia will never be an Asian nation. It is culturally tied to its British and European heritage. It is now feeling the beginning of the most negative effects of that European link.

That this was prophesied 3,000 years ago in the book that most Australian households once had on their home bookshelves, would seem laughable to the average irreligious Aussie today. But it’s a fact.

Over 1900 years ago, a prophecy was penned by the Apostle John, forecasting that a 10-nation combine would control world trade for a brief moment in time (Revelation 17 and 13). Today we hear that EU elites will enact their controlling fiscal union by having only nine of 27 nations that originally agreed to the pact sign up to it. This Eurobeast is now in the fast lane!

Few Australians would today recognize that the national blessings that are now being threatened by eurozone contagion were actually gifted to them by Almighty God due to the obedience of one man—the ancient patriarch Abraham.

Few indeed there be who—despite the significant impact that his broadcasts and the distribution of his printed works had on Australia during his lifetime—would remember Herbert Armstrong’s warning of the future effects that a 10-nation European power would have on the whole world—including Australia!

Yet warn he did. Now the prophecies he pointed to are becoming a daily reality!

What will be the outcome?

If you truly want to know, then, as Herbert Armstrong so often challenged, “Don’t believe me! Just blow the dust off your Bible, and prove it for yourself!”

Our booklets The United States and Britain in Prophecy and Australia—Where to Now? will aid you greatly in proving just how and why Australia became enmeshed in the euro crisis, the effect that this crisis will have on the whole country, and the good news that lies beyond it!