Thursday, 2 June 2016

The Leaning Tower of Europa

To say the EU is a Time Bomb ticking away, threatening the whole world of an explosion would be a gross understatement. Europe has been the stage for hardcore financial-political drama for the last few years; one that may put our whole silver screen soap operas to shame. Counting the Financial crisis, the refugee crisis, competitiveness crisis, banking crisis, the terror attacks, et al- Europe seems to no longer be the ‘Paradise of Earth’ that it was once regarded to be.

More than a million migrants and refugees crossed into Europe in 2015 - Photo courtesy:
To update anyone who lived in a cocoon up until now and who doesn't know anything about what I speak of, most nations in the European Union faced a situation very similar to that of the 1929 Great Depression (It was the recession that gripped the whole world after the First World War, where the world went into a slump). Though the front runner in calamity was obviously the book-cooking, heavily in debt Greece, it was accompanied by others like Portugal, Spain, Ireland and Cyprus, who themselves were immersed in varying degrees of Financial soup. The matters are often considered to be the worst for the Socialist Tsipras led 'The Hellenic Republic' though, which had excessive public expenditures in the form of unemployment allowances, old age allowances, etc, among other problems. In the brink of defaulting on its loan repayment to the IMF and exiting the EU (Read: Grexit), a referendum and yet another assistance from the EU and IMF is what keeps it afloat now. What accompanies any such assistance is, of course, terrifying austerity measures, which are now beginning to annoy the otherwise jolly Greeks.

A number of economists often raised doubts regarding the EU and the Euro as a single currency due to the stark diversity in the economic capacity of all the economies endorsing it. This dubiousness only got stronger as Germany and France, along with the EU Central Bank seem to have been running around like firefighters, extinguishing one crisis after another. It indeed seems like the EU still stands (although askew) due to the determination of Chancellor Angela Merkel alone.

The already strained Greece, however, seems to have no respite of any sort, as it is only being burdened further; this time by the thousands of migrants who are flowing in every day, turning Greece virtually into a refugee camp. Greece however, is not the only one creaking under the pressure of the migrants, for other EU nations like Jordan, Hungary, Germany, UK, Italy etc are also facing this migrant crisis. The civil war that has broken out in Syria, as well as the chaos in Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan, are the major reasons for these thronging crowds into the Europe. The infrastructure of the recovering Europe is being strained much more under this growing burden. This has led to nations closing their borders, deploying stronger security at these borders and putting up cap limits to Immigration applications.

However, it seems that certain damage has already been done as refugees continue to crowd borders, overflow camps and occupy streets of all the border nations of the European fortress. Along with the infrastructural impact, it is also beginning to impact the social fabric, with rape games like ‘Taharrush’ becoming increasingly common on the streets of Frankfurt and other European nations, which are making the citizens fear the insuring immigrants even more.

With the impending referendum in the UK regarding remaining a part of EU on the 23rd of June 2016, it is only a matter of days, before Europe once again airs another of its dramatic episodes, which promises to keep you at the edge of your seat more than the latest Game of Thrones season.

Written by Shreya Srinivasan
A person of varied interests, with a possible ADHD that went unnoticed as a child. A gypsy philosopher looking for her place and space in the world. Admittedly a little odd at first, but then, you have to be odd to be number one.

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