Newt Gingrich, an American politician and the former speaker of the House, has pointed out six reasons why Europe is experiencing a “crisis of crises.” He experienced these problems first-hand while traveling on a cruise from Amsterdam to Basel along the Rhine River.
In a recent interview, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich talked about Europe and its current existential threats. Gingrich is one of the few pundits we listen to, and these are very serious threats.
1. The Eurozone
Establishing the euro as the common currency is back firing for the EU. To match Germany, the euro must be strong. This means that other countries with weaker economies like Greece fall behind in debt. But, a weak enough euro for Greece means inflation for Germany. And this cycle just goes on. Now countries with poor economies can’t pay back borrowed money. So, they are left in tremendous debt.
2. The migrant crisis
The influx of refugees without a plan to assimilate them has left European countries in a state of chaos. Not only are the crime rates higher than ever, but the tension between European leaders continues to grow.
3. Slow economies
The economies continue to get weaker due to the Eurozone and migrant crisis. “The high taxes, strong unions, bureaucratic controls, burdensome regulations, and a general bias against entrepreneurial creativity all combine to slow European growth rates,” said Gingrich. This has caused a higher unemployment rate and a decrease in income.
4. The defenses are down
The focus of Europe for the last 71 years has been to keep the peace. But, it’s important for countries to be able to defend themselves. Without striving economies, funds are limited to do so. “This inability of Europe to defend itself is being highlighted by the emergence of threats from Putin’s Russia, Islamic supremacists, the emergence of a missile-capable Iran, the rise of China and the pressures of mass migration,” said Gringrich.
5. Brussel bureaucrats
The European Union is too weak to keep bureaucracies under control. “Power has shifted from elected officials in national capitals to nameless, faceless bureaucrats hidden within the Brussels superstructure. If Europe is to have a future of freedom, the elected institutions will have to be dramatically strengthened and the bureaucrats brought within an accountable, transparent system,” said Gringrich.
6. European Political systems halt needed changes
Reformers have difficulty gaining any attention in the rigid and isolated political systems of Europe. “In any one year, this insular system seems to work fine, but over time, it blocks necessary changes, ignores growing public anger and forces reformers to increasingly extreme positions,” said Gringrich.
With all of these issues happening simultaneously, it won’t be easy for Europe to climb out of this crisis.