Crisis of Crises for Europeans

Here is Newt Gingrich:

Europe is faced with a crisis of crises.

If the Europeans only had one major challenge, they could focus on it and solve it.

Unfortunately, however, they face a number of urgent problems, and the solutions for some could actually make others more difficult to solve.

Of course, it is worth pointing out at the beginning that still Europe enjoys enormous strengths. It remarkably wealthy and has a huge population of educated, skilled workers.

The European quality of life, with long vacations and extended summer weekends, is still something for Americans to envy, if not to emulate. It was remarkable to see large camp grounds full of trailers and motorhomes on the Rhine and the Mosel, where the Dutch in particular seem to enjoy staying (leaving behind their heavily populated, indeed crowded, country).

The European welfare states still offer health and education benefits that their citizens prize.

And Europeans’ cultural focus on museums, parks, historic sites and zoos (my favorite) means they have many of the best cultural institutions in the world.

There are, however, at least six deep challenges to the heart of the European experiment.

First, the creation of the Eurozone, establishing a common currency, was in retrospect a step too far. A Euro that is strong enough for Germany crushes the Greek economy. A Euro weak enough for Greece guarantees inflation in Germany. This 21-year experiment has been a great asset for the German economy, as countries like Greece that had weaker economies could borrow money to buy German products. Now, the weaker economies can’t pay back all of the borrowed money. This is an economic, cultural, political and social crisis, and it is a long way from being resolved.

Read more: Gingrich Productions