WELL, what a year it’s been! It doesn’t take more than a moment or two to list all the financial, natural and manmade disasters we’ve experienced so far in 2011.
The earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power plant disaster in Japan. The equally devastating earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. The Utøya massacre in Norway.
Continuing widespread, political unrest including the “Arab Spring” uprisings. And not only companies facing bankruptcy (like Thomas Cook and Austrian airline, Comtel Air, which demanded €23,800 from its captive passengers for non-payment of airport taxes) but sovereign countries!
Not to mention elected governments being deposed, unelected eurocrats taking over.
In Spain, el Partido Popular, led by Mariano Rajoy, declared victory in a general election overshadowed by staggering unemployment and Europe’s overwhelming debt problems.
Rajoy inherits a country in crisis. Growth is zero and unemployment 23%. In Cádiz province, one in three is jobless – in a country with 46% of the under-25s without work. Even a year ago, who would have thought that, after years of portraying India as poverty-ridden and China as a poor country thriving on child labour, Europe would have to swallow its pride and go begging for cash?
After being rebuffed by the first three of the so-called BRICs emerging economies (Brazil, Russia, India and China), eurozone representatives went with a huge begging bowl to China to help fix its debt crisis.
Only to be rebuffed there too. The debt crisis serves, in fact, to underline the switch in the global balance of power. How China is slowly turning into the world superpower, expected to buy up some of the biggest companies in Europe.
This has already started with the purchase of Saab, by Chinese companies Pang Da Automobile and Zhejiang Youngman for £88 million.
A Chinese billionaire, Huang Nubo, even wants to buy a large chunk of a European country – Iceland. Gerard Lyons, chief economist at Standard Chartered, says: “There is no doubt about it now: China is the kingmaker. The past decade was characterized by three words: Made in China.
The next decade it will be: Bought by China.” Britain on its uppers. Europe in financial meltdown. But congratulations Señor Rajoy! Hope you make the right speeches when you finally take office.
There’s probably an ex-EU commissioner ready to take over if Merkel and Sarkozy don’t like them.
Nora Johnson’s novels, Soul Stealer & The De Clerambault Code (www.nora-johnson.com) available at Amazon in paperback and as eBook. Profits to Cudeca