The Scary Reason Europe Is Doomed To Crisis After Crisis After Crisis

Sweden

Photo: AP

What’s the real reason Greece is in so much trouble?

Old people. The country has a massively generous pension system that’s breaking the government’s back. Remember, the recession hasn’t even been all that deep in comparison to other countries.

But demographics and pension are a problem throughout Europe. It’s just a matter of timing.

We identified the worst countries by a composite ranking of (1) the pension-to-GDP ratio in 2035 and (2) the decrease in working age population (relative to total population) by 2020. All data comes from the European Commission’s 2009 EU ageing Report.

See the countries that are the next Greece >

[slideshow]
[slide
permalink=”no-15-worst-netherlands-1″
title=”No. 15 worst: Netherlands”
content=”Local elections in the Netherlands are being defined by anti-immigrant parties which seek to prevent immigration from all Muslim countries.

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2007: 6.6%

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2035: 10%

Change in working age population by 2020: -4.3%

Source: 2009 EU ageing Report
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b8d75617f8b9abe5bcc0500/image.jpg”
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”no-14-worst-luxembourg-2″
title=”No. 14 worst: Luxembourg”
content=”Luxembourg has the highest amount of foreign born citizens in any country in Europe.

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2007: 8.7%

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2035: 17%

Change in working age population by 2020: -1.1%

Source: 2009 EU ageing Report
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b8d756b7f8b9abe5be70500/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
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[slide
permalink=”no-13-worst-denmark-3″
title=”No. 13 worst: Denmark”
content=”Denmark has very strict immigration rules which prevent the wives and husbands of naturalized citizens from moving to the country for 28 years after their spouse’s naturalization.

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2007: 9.1%

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2035: 11%

Change in working age population by 2020: -4.3%

Source: 2009 EU ageing Report
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b8d75787f8b9aaa78b50400/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
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]
[slide
permalink=”no-12-worst-bulgaria-4″
title=”No. 12 worst: Bulgaria”
content=”The head of Bulgaria’s immigration team has recently been arrested for illegally helping foreigners get citizenship.

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2007: 8.3%

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2035: 9.0%

Change in working age population by 2020: -5.6%

Source: 2009 EU ageing Report
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b8d758d7f8b9a5d786b0700/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
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]
[slide
permalink=”no-11-worst-czech-republic-5″
title=”No. 11 worst: Czech Republic”
content=”Czech pension profits grew by 720 Million Kc (40 Million) while membership grew in private pensions to 4.47 million people.

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2007: 7.8%

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2035: 7.6%

Change in working age population by 2020: -8.3%

Source: 2009 EU ageing Report
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b8d759b7f8b9a445e1f0300/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”no-10-worst-belgium-6″
title=”No. 10 worst: Belgium”
content=”New EU rules on travelling without a visa are supplying a large amount of Balkan immigrants to Belgium since the beginning of the year.

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2007: 10%

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2035: 14%

Change in working age population by 2020: -3.5%

Source: 2009 EU ageing Report
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b8d75a57f8b9aaa78fd0400/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”no-9-worst-poland-7″
title=”No. 9 worst: Poland”
content=”Poland is keeping steady in its plan on pensions, hoping that a slight increase in returns and increasing the retirement age will allow the program to remain in good stead.

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2007: 12%

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2035: 9.3%

Change in working age population by 2020: -5.7%

Source: 2009 EU ageing Report
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b8d75b07f8b9ab870ba0400/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”no-8-worst-hungary-8″
title=”No. 8 worst: Hungary”
content=”Hungary is attempting to take advantage of foreign discrimination against Indians by offering them places in their universities.

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2007: 11%

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2035: 12%

Change in working age population by 2020: -5.0%

Source: 2009 EU ageing Report
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b8d75bc7f8b9a1e71da0100/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”no-7-worst-italy-9″
title=”No. 7 worst: Italy”
content=”Italy experienced nationwide strikes of immigrant workers on March 1 showing the signs of tension within the country.

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2007: 14%

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2035: 15%

Change in working age population by 2020: -3.0%

Source: 2009 EU ageing Report
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b8d75c67f8b9ad777d40a00/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”no-6-worst-sweden-10″
title=”No. 6 worst: Sweden”
content=”Sweden has a policy of ‘integration‘ for its immigrants giving them the language and cultural skills necessary to survive in the country.

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2007: 9.5%

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2035: 9.4%

Change in working age population by 2020: -6.0%

Source: 2009 EU ageing Report
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b8d75d07f8b9a445e890300/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”no-5-worst-malta-11″
title=”No. 5 worst: Malta”
content=”Malta, a relatively closed post-colonial state, is experiencing an influx of immigration which some are saying is a positive move for its society.

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2007: 7.2%

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2035: 9.7%

Change in working age population by 2020: -7.1%

Source: 2009 EU ageing Report
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b8d75dc7f8b9a59790a0000/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”no-4-worst-greece-12″
title=”No. 4 worst: Greece”
content=”Greece is making moves to give the children of migrant workers citizenship, but there is a substantial backlash to these political moves.

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2007: 12%

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2035: 19%

Change in working age population by 2020: -3.9%

Source: 2009 EU ageing Report
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b8d75eb7f8b9a0379bf0300/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”no-3-worst-france-13″
title=”No. 3 worst: France”
content=”France is preventing an immigrant from Morocco from getting citizenship because he makes his wife wear an ‘Islamic veil.’

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2007: 13%

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2035: 14%

Change in working age population by 2020: -5.5%

Source: 2009 EU ageing Report
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b8d760c7f8b9a5879720000/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”no-2-worst-finland-14″
title=”No. 2 worst: Finland”
content=”Finland experienced a 48% increase in asylum seekers last year, with most coming from Iraq and Somalia.

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2007: 10%

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2035: 14%

Change in working age population by 2020: -8.5%

Source: 2009 EU ageing Report
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b8d76147f8b9a1d71d90100/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”no-1-worst-slovenia-15″
title=”No. 1 worst: Slovenia”
content=”Slovenia’s pension scheme remained balanced for 2009, with spent and received 4.6 Billion Euros ($6.3 Billion).

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2007: 9.9%

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2035: 15%

Change in working age population by 2020: -6.6%

Source: 2009 EU ageing Report
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b8d76247f8b9a6479020000/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”now-check-out-the-10-countries-on-the-verge-of-a-crippling-demographic-crisis-16″
title=”Now Check Out The 10 Countries On The Verge Of A Crippling Demographic Crisis”
content=”See The 10 Countries On The Verge Of A Demographic Crisis >
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b755f39000000000081d719/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[/slideshow]

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