The European Union is in a state of flux, and many are sure that the currency union will not survive in the long-term.
A chorus of political leaders from around Europe have called for the dissolution of the union as economic conditions remain bleak.
German magazine Der Spiegel recently published a list of politicians who pose the greatest threat to the survival of the European Union, shown below:
Photo: Der Spiegel, Strategas
One common thread between these leaders is that their radical views welcome uncertainty and instability. Their extreme views come from both sides of the political spectrum. This reaffirms the popular notion that when an economy sours, people are more open to solutions far outside the mainstream.
Jason Trennert of Strategas sees another demographic link between these rulers; one that foreshadows the future dissolution of the E.U.
Trennert, on the characteristic the vast majority of these leaders share:
With the exception of Silvio Berlusconi, who – as we all know – likes to associate himself with younger people, these Euroskeptics were all virtually youngsters between the ages of 38 and 50.
Widespread dislike of austerity measures in debt-stricken, high-unemployment nations such as Greece and Spain has triggered mass protests; manifestations of the impending failure of the European experiment. Young leaders with alternative solutions to Europe’s debt crisis rose to prominence as economic growth remained stagnant.
Trennert explains why young Europeans are not as committed to a unified Europe as older generations:
Younger generations of Europeans who have not seen the horrors of a land war on the Continent have no such yearning to create yet another layer of bureaucracy from which a variety of rules, regulations, and taxes come not from their local capitals but from Brussels…The greater point in all this is that when times get tough, there is a natural human impulse to become more provincial, not more cosmopolitan.
In short, the biggest threat to the E.U.’s survival isn’t the fear of Greece defaulting on its debts or the inability of Spanish banks to repair their balance sheets.
It’s a lack of commitment to a collectivist approach to governance from generations of younger Europeans that have never witnessed the consequences of a divided continent at war.