European economy

European economy

Most of the countries in Europe are facing significant reduction in their GDPs, with most countries facing a rising mountain of debt. Amidst all this, Sweden has managed to maintain a healthy rate of economic growth, so much so that today Sweden is considered to be financially much stronger than Germany and France. That the riots have taken place such a large scale inspite of the sound financial health of Sweden has left many confused. The reason for the riots inspite of the sound financial health of the country is being attributed to the changed circumstances over the past few years, in the aftermath of the recession. Stockholm and its adjoining areas have witnessed a huge influx of migrants. People have come here in hordes in search of jobs and dreams of a better future, but still these remain distant realities for them. Employment opportunities have drastically reduced and even the young, educated class has found it difficult to get jobs. A similar situation is being faced across Europe. The highest youth unemployment rates in Europe have been observed in Greece where they have skyrocketed to 64.2% and are also close to hitting 75% in some parts of the country. Spain too has been facing this extremity where youth unemployment rates have been at a staggering 56.4%. Portugal too is not far behind with youth unemployment rates being as high as 42.5%. At the same time, other EU members viz., Cyprus, Latvia, Ireland, Lithuania and Estonia have also been seeing higher and increasing rates of unemployment. Also a whopping one third of all individuals between the ages of 15 and 24 are at risk of poverty in the EU.

Coupled with this, over the past two years, the local self-governing bodies have also drastically reduced their spendings on various social welfare schemes, which also includes cuts in the grants to educational institutions. This has further aggravated the disenchantment and dejection of the youth, which found expression in the form of the Stockholm riots.

Fault lines in the European Union

A recent happening worth noting is the local elections that happened in France in which supporters of France’s far-right Front National led by Marine Le Pen narrowly lost. But despite the setback, the bigger story is the rising support for the French far-right which has been staunchly against the EU holding its policies responsible for decline in agriculture, fishing, deindustrialization, etc. Interestingly Le Pen has compared Brexit to the fall

European Economy

Just last week, the Secretary General of Red Cross, Bekele Geleta, warned that the ever increasing unemployment and poverty in some of the European countries is fuelling unrest and that these issues may result in a sudden uprising of the masses if proper measures are not taken to resolve them. Wolfgang Schaeuble, Finance Minister of Germany, while talking about the same issues, warned of disintegration of Europe if unemployment was