The flowing rivers and lush greenery hide the chaos and despair of a nation that has accepted defeat. In the heart of intriguingly picturesque Ireland, the fate of the entire European Union has been exposed to the harshest of elements.
After weeks of denying the possiblity of a bailout, Ireland, caved into the economic crisis, seeking an international rescue package for an estimated £90 billion. This poses the threat that the glorified Euro and the European Union might find its very foundations shaken.
Ashok Shah, chief investment officer at London Capital, said to the Guardian: “The Irish problem is already spreading, but it could get more violent and volatile.”
The European Union is in utter turmoil with other deficit stricken countries such as Portugal and Spain spinning towards an end as catastrophic as that of Ireland. With Greece surviving on the £95 billion bailout the picture this paints for the future of the EU is bleak at best.
The Guardian reported that pressure was mounting on the EU with Portugal too edging closer to a huge deficit. Portugal’s finance minister Fernando Teixeira dos Santos said his country was at risk of a possible contagion, as this was no longer a national problem but one facing the EU as a whole.
The Threat to the EU
Maria Koutroumpa, a Greek student at the University of Westminster, brought up how the persistent bankruptcy across Europe, erodes the nature of a Union. And the threat of stronger economies infringing on the interests of weaker nations is very real now.
With the number of afflicted nations escalating, will the concept of the European Union hold sacrosanct? According to the Guardian, the German leader already caused something of a crisis with her comments about debt reconstructing.
“Angela Merkel’s broadside comment was in itself a form of bullying directed towards the more vulnerable sovereigns in Europe,” said Donal O’Mahony, global strategist at Davy Stockbrokers in Dublin.
Is this going to be the fate of the famed European Union? Will nations with the money and backing try to intimidate others into sublime submission
The bailout initially caused markets to smile, with stocks actually going up. But the euro erased its gains, trading at $1.3638 recently, after Ireland’s Green Party, the junior partner in the coalition government, called for an early general election in the second half of January 2011.
According to Reuters, The European Union stemmed the first wave of debt crisis in May with “shock and awe” tactics by rescuing Greece along with the International Monetary Fund and creating a $1 trillion financial safety net for other euro zone states in distress.
And now in an effort to save the fate of the Euro, nations across Europe have joined together to salvage the fate of their affected counterparts. But the threat of debt is merely escalating wth cuts and deficits increasing.
Make no mistake about it, the risks are real and the stakes are high. As the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, told her parliament :
“This challenge is existential and we have to rise to it. The euro is in danger. If we don’t deal with this danger, then the consequences for us in Europe are incalculable. If the euro fails, then Europe fails.”
Entrenched in the pitfalls of the bailout lie the future of a union that created history. If the authorities don’t tread the path with caution, the dream that is the European Union could crumble into yet another Utopian unreality.