"Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder." - Arnold Toynbee
Gradual collapse of Europe has been under way over several decades. It takes place simultaneously in many areas, which the most important is demographics. While the world's population is growing at a rapid pace, fertility rates in European countries do not even reach 2.1, which is necessary to maintain current level of population.
This fact is much more important than GDP growth in Germany or level of inflation in France. Population prospects are built over decades. It is impossible to change them in a year or two with some good reforms. Therefore, slow dying of Europe (at least its western part) is doomed. It is worth taking a look at what led the Old Continent to be in such place and what changes we can expect in the next years.
Situation in Western Europe
The only country in Western Europe that is near threshold of the required fertility rate is France. However, their birth rate is mainly due to immigrant families, for whom 5 or 6 children is a standard.
Other countries look worse. To name only largest of them: United Kingdom - 1.8 (result also inflated by immigrants), Germany - 1.5, Spain - 1.33, Italy - 1.35.
Events from recent years show that the aid of demographic problems in Western Europe is to be influx of immigrants, misrepresented by media as "refugees". In one of our previous articles "How to destabilize the continent" we wrote who is currently coming to Europe and why this is happening.
In this text, however, we would like to draw attention to how quickly the mentioned process is progressing. The great example of that is Italy, where about 550,000 immigrants lived 15 years ago, which accounted for 1% of country's population. However, current influx of foreigners is so strong that, according to estimates, in 2065, first and second generation of immigrants will count 22 million people, or 40% of the population!
Question arises whether accustomed to security and relative prosperity Italians will want to fight to preserve current culture, law, etc.? Or maybe they would agree to the Sharia law just for a holy peace (as weird as it sounds)?
In the Italian example, it is also very important that most immigrants come only from 10 different countries. It drives creation of communities separated from the rest of society. Inside them, Islamic radicalism usually prevails. At the beginning, the only change for Europeans would be that by entering an area inhabited by immigrants may result in loss of health (especially for women). Over time, however, number of immigrants in a given area will grow (higher birthrate) and they will try to impose their own rules. Similarly, for example in Sweden.
Falling security level in Western Europe is one thing. Equally important, however, is the fact that people quickly forget tragic events. It seems that boundary moment should be the statement of Muslim mayor of London, who said that " terror attacks are part and parcel of living in a big city" (in that case, how many assassinations were there in London 15 years ago?). Nothing happened after his speech. No public anger, no protests. Another barrier of indifference has been crossed.
Western Europe is currently a victim of two bacterias: socialism and political correctness. It is possible to argue over which of them is more lethal, but there is no doubt that both are the causes of Europe's huge problems, including those related to demography.
Socialism is undoubtly associated with large state interference in citizens lives. Authorities know better on what spend money earned by ordinary people, authorities know better what medicine should be on prescription and what should not, authorities know better how much citizen has to save for retirement and when he should retire. Man in this system is treated like a child. Socialism wean people from responsibility and thinking. And as we know, family establishment and having children is about responsibility!
Along with socialism, there is also bureaucracy. With its growth, Europeans have ceased to devote their time for creative activities, development and competition. These aspects have been replaced by paperwork, hundreds of regulations and safety rules. In this way economic development have been stopped, which in turn translated into strong increase in unemployment among young people in some EU countries. It is not surprising that in such conditions, couples less often decide to rise a child.
Political correctness, on the other hand, made citizens of Western European countries to stop calling things by names. Instead, they obediently accept narration of mainstream media, which name terrorist attacks as "incidents", instead of blaming terrorist, they inform that "the van has entered the crowd". As a result, the truth is swept under the carpet. There is quiet consent on what immigrants are doing, which in turn means that Western European nations will be dominated even more by them. At the same time, working Europeans will have to pay higher and higher taxes to support millions of immigrants using social welfare. There is an absurd situation in which German or French citizens withdraw their veins so that immigrants can live for free and could rise more children. This is what Europe's suicide is all about.
Situation in Central and Eastern Europe
In some Central and Eastern European countries, decline in population began in 1990s, in case of the others, negative trend began in 21st century. In general, however, situation looks dramatic. Fertility rate for many countries in this region is 1.3.
Forecasts sounds dramatic. By 2050, number of Romanian citizens will drop by 22%, Moldova - by 20%, Latvia - by 19%, Lithuania - by 17%, Croatia by 16% and Poland by 14-15%.
Very large impact on demography in Central and Eastern European countries can have current immigration policy. In contrast to the West, countries like Poland, Hungary and Slovakia do not agree to accept immigrants. This is, of course, a fair policy that makes these countries more secure (and although hardly anyone remembers it - it also makes them more attractive in terms of investment).
Among countries from the central part of Europe, there is a stronger attachment to European culture. It seems that this is most pronounced in speeches of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who often talks about saving European civilization, and last year he said significant words:
" Europe is not free. Because freedom begins with speaking the truth. Today in Europe it is forbidden to speak the truth. "
Another difference between Western Europe and Central and Eastern Europe lies in the fact that political correctness has not yet reached post-communist countries. Evidence? In 2015, Jaroslaw Kaczynski mentioned in his speech about several dozen so-called "No go zone" in Sweden, i.e. areas under total control of radical Muslims. He did this to highlight the effects of large groups of immigrants. In many Western European countries, he would have become a public enemy No. 1 (by the way - for telling the truth). Meanwhile, in Poland it was adopted more as an important voice in the discussion on the immigration crisis.
Regardless of differences in behavior of politicians from Western, Central and Eastern Europe, also this part of the continent has significant problems with the birthrate.
At the turn of 80s' and 90s', countries of Central and Eastern Europe experienced systemic transformation, moving from socialism to capitalism. Millions of people found themselves in a previously unknown situation, not really sure that this change will bring them significant benefits. Uncertainty increased when many state-owned factories has been shut down and unemployment increased significantly for some time. In such a situation, many families postponed or abandoned decision for rising children.
Along with entering into the European Union, opportunities have grown to work in the West. A lot of people left their countries, but more importantly - mainly young people in working age has left. It was powerful impact on the demographic structure of Central and Eastern Europe countries. In contrast to what is happening now, Western Europe gained most of hard-working and peaceful immigrants.
Demographic problems in the central part of Europe are therefore different from those facing the West. It is not about changing mentality, but about financial situation. Evidence? See fertility rates among Polish families who have moved to the United Kingdom. According to the Central Statistical Office in 2015, there were 3.3 children per one Polish woman living in the UK. Even if this data is exaggerated in some way, let us add that for one Polish woman living in Germany there are 2.1 children.
Outlook for Europe
In our opinion, situation in Western Europe is more difficult than in its central part. Changes that have occurred in people's mentality are impossible to reverse. Citizens of Western states choosing politicians who have departed from the foundations of European civilization, have no identity and are not able to tell the truth, even about immigrants.
Politicians we're talking about are reflection of societies. Ultimately, thousands of Germans or Spaniards are not forced to go on marches to support immigrants - they go there alone. Political correctness does not allow them to even say that two plus two are four. They see strong men, and they can still tell themselves that they are families escaping the war. It is not surprising that these blinded people choose unsuitable politicians.
What is the best testimony that the West is lost? Angela Merkel's example. Ultimately, her policy led to admission of hundreds of thousands of immigrants without undergoing any kind of control. There have been many attacks, many people have died and Merkel still has a chance to be re-elected! Just in case, however, German Chancellor also thinks about emigration to Uruguay, where she bought a gigantic estate in 2016.
Western Europe is lost. Over the next decades, many countries will be under strong influence of radical Muslims, and there will also be breakdowns into smaller states.
It will be different with Central and Eastern Europe. Here, European identity and will to rebuild the demographic structure are visible. Financial situation remains a problem. It is possible that in the event of its improvement, this region will have to face problems that overcome Western Europe (extensive role of the state and political correctness).
Further development of demographic situation in post-communist countries is difficult to predict. However, there is a high probability that residents of e.g. Sweden or Norway, moving away from radical Muslims, will move to Central and Eastern Europe. Then the post-communist countries will gain hard-working, educated and peaceful immigrants (in contrast to what comes to Western Europe). This trend has already been initiated - people who looked for a better life 25 years ago in Sweden or Germany, today return to Poland, stressing that it is "clean" and safe here.
Let us not forget that people who left the West dozen years ago will return to the Central and Eastern European countries. Most of them will bring a lot of capital - we mean both the currency and life experiences.
What's next with economic growth in Europe?
Aging of European nations will of course have impact on economic growth dynamics. Let us remember that many countries from the Old Continent are facing huge debts. Decreasing percentage of working people will result in less tax money for financing budgets of these countries. Thus, problems with debt will increase. In turn, authorities, fearing to carry out spending cuts (possible public rebellion), will go towards raising taxes to entrepreneurs, because this group is the most difficult to rebel. This, in turn, will translate into slowing economic growth.
Additional burden on state budgets will be the fact that immigrants benefiting from social assistance will become a large electoral group (similarly to older people). Seeking support, politicians will not decide to limit social benefits and pensions.
Economic growth depends on investments, and these are directed where there is the potential for population growth. Since the forecasts on this subject are pessimistic for Europe, investors are increasingly looking to other regions of the world. Among others, that is why Jacob Rothschild decided to transfer large part of the assets to Asia. Also, Marc Faber often mentions investing in Asia in his comments.
Differences between perspectives is well illustrated by two charts below. The first one presents how population of several European countries will change in coming decades ...
... and the second concerns the same issue, with focus on Asia.
As you can see, both continents are demographically heading in opposite directions. In case of Europe, this will have very negative impact on real estate market (lower demand), which in many European countries is currently in bubble phase. Of course it is due to the policy of zero interest rates.
As for the prospects of Europe's economic development, we can not ignore the European Union subject. Ultimately, subsequent tensions between new and old EU countries can accelerate collapse of the community. Question arises whether Schengen area will remain alive, which has a very positive impact on economic development.
In addition, fall of the EU may be accompanied by the collapse of several countries. It is very likely in case of Spain (Catalonia). Scotland may be next, it is also likely that Basque Country will be disconnected. These can be cleansing events - forcing debt resets and rewriting laws from scratch. It should be emphasized that it is the complicated and stupid law which is blocking the economy, for instance development of Italy.
How cleansing can be this situation shows the example of Estonia. After USSR collapse, this country was left with nothing. Socialism failed, then Estonians decided to go towards free market. And they look great on it.
How lofty it would not sound, death of Western Europe is doomed.
It is confirmed that idea is stronger than weapon. This time, however, in bad sense. Idea of equality and multiculturalism have been sticked to Western European countries citizens heads, and they began to confess it uncritically, without seeing changes that were taking place around them.
At the moment, only Central and Eastern Europe has a chance to survive in current form.
It is possible that, after some time, depopulation similar to that from Western Europe may begin to touch other regions of the world. Ultimately, the mighty of this world want smaller population, because then it is easier to control the masses. Good example of moves in this direction are the words of typical representative of the establishment Emmanuel Macron, who said in 2017 that the real challenge in Africa is the fact that every woman has 7-8 children.
Independent Trader Team