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Could The Financial Crisis Erupting In Ireland, Portugal, Greece And Spain Lead To The End Of The Euro And The Break Up Of The European Union?

The Irish banking system is melting down right in front of our eyes.  Ireland, Portugal, Greece and Spain are all drowning in debt.  It is becoming extremely expensive for all of those nations to issue new debt.  Officials all over Europe are begging Ireland to accept a bailout.  Portugal has already indicated that they will probably be next in line.  Most economists are now acknowledging that without a new round of bailouts the dominoes could start to fall and we could see a wave of debt defaults by European governments.  All of this is pushing the monetary union in Europe to its limits.  In fact, some of Europe's top politicians are now publicly warning that this crisis may not only mean the end of the euro, but also the end of the European Union itself.

Yes, things really are that serious in Europe right now.  In order for the euro and the European Union to hold together, two things have got to happen.  Number one, Germany and the other European nations that are in good financial condition have got to agree to keep bailing out nations such as Ireland, Portugal and Greece that are complete economic basket cases.  Number two, the European nations receiving these bailouts have got to convince their citizens to comply with the very harsh austerity measures being imposed upon them by the EU and the IMF.

Those two things should not be taken for granted.  In Germany, many taxpayers are already sick and tired of pouring hundreds of billions of euros into a black hole.  The truth is that the Germans are not going to accept carrying weak sisters like Greece and Portugal on their backs indefinitely.

In addition, we have already seen the kinds of riots that have erupted in Greece over the austerity measures being implemented there.  If there is an overwhelming backlash against austerity in some parts of Europe will some nations actually attempt to leave the EU?

Right now the focus is on Ireland.  The Irish banking system is a basket case at the moment and the Irish government is drowning in red ink.  European Union officials are urging Ireland to request a bailout, but so far Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen is not taking the bait.  The Irish government does not seem too keen on having even more austerity measures imposed upon it by the EU and the IMF.

According to Nadeem Walayat, the harsh austerity measures that Ireland has endured during this past year have only made Ireland's financial problems even worse....

The people of Ireland having endured over a year of austerity on the promise that it was all necessary to suffer pain today by cutting public spending so as to reduce the annual budget deficit to sustainable level for economic gains tomorrow. Instead the exact opposite is taking place as the Irish economy contracts due to economic austerity whilst its bankrupt banks are sending the countries debt and liabilities soaring, thus resulting in a far worse budgetary position than where Ireland was before the austerity measures were implemented as the bond markets are waking up to evitable debt default which is sending interest rates demanded to hold Irish debt soaring to new credit crisis highs.

But the big Irish banks are bleeding cash fast.  For example, the Bank of Ireland recently reported "a 10 billion euro outflow of deposits from early August until the end of September."  Irish banks and the Irish government need help whether they are willing to admit it or not.

But Ireland is not the only one in trouble.  Portugal became the latest European nation to push the panic button when Portuguese Finance Minister Fernando Teixeira dos Santos announced that his country was in such bad financial shape that it might have to seek a bailout package.

Things are so bleak in Portugal right now that Foreign Affairs Minister Luis Amado says that his nation "faces a scenario of exit from the euro zone" if a solution is not found for this financial mess.

On top of all this, word is coming out that Greece is in even worse financial condition than initially believed.  The statistics agency for the EU, Eurostat, revealed on Tuesday that Greece's deficit for 2009 was actually 15.4% of GDP rather than 13.6% of GDP as originally thought.

The Greek national debt is now well over 120 percent of GDP.  It seems inevitable at this point that Greece will need more bailouts if they are to remain part of the EU.

Spain is also starting to feel the heat.  Spain's short-term debt financing costs jumped sharply on Tuesday, and officials in Spain are begging the Irish government to accept the bailout they are being offered so that the "contagion" does not spread.

But could a few mid-size countries in Europe really cause the next great global financial crisis?

Yes.

In the UK, veteran Conservative MP Peter Tapsell is warning that a total collapse in Ireland "could pose as great a threat to the world economy as did Lehman Brothers, AIG and Goldman Sachs in September 2008".

Already we are seeing world financial markets getting rattled by all this news.

Fears regarding what is happening in Ireland, Greece, Spain and Portugal helped push the Dow Jones industrial average down nearly 200 points on Tuesday.

But the real story is that this financial crisis in Europe could potentially cause the break up of the euro and of the European Union.

The truth is that the euro and the European Union are inseparably linked at this point.  In fact, EU President Herman Van Rompuy is warning that if some of the weaker countries in Europe are forced to abandon the euro it will likely cause the total destruction of the European Union....

"We’re in a survival crisis. We all have to work together in order to survive with the euro zone, because if we don’t survive with the euro zone we will not survive with the European Union."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is also warning that a failure of the euro could bring down the entire European Union....

"If the euro fails, then Europe fails."

But officials in Europe are not going to let the dream of a united Europe slip away easily.  Right now they are working really hard to keep Europe together, and that means some "tough love" has to be imposed on the "weak sisters".  As these weaker European economies collapse, they are being forced to accept harsh EU mandates in exchange for bailouts.  As Ambrose Evans Pritchard recently pointed out, "forced austerity" is quite similar to serfdom....

Greece is now under an EU protectorate, or the “Memorandum” as they call it. This has prompted pin-prick terrorist attacks against anybody associated with EU rule. Ireland and Portugal are further behind on this road to serfdom, but they are already facing policy dictates from Brussels, but will soon be under formal protectorates as well in any case. Spain has more or less been forced to cut public wages by 5pc to comply with EU demands made in May. All are having to knuckle down to Europe’s agenda of austerity, without the offsetting relief of devaluation and looser monetary policy.

In the end, Europe is going to move in one of two directions.  Either this financial crisis will finally be the thing that breaks up the euro and the European Union, or it will result in a Europe that is ruled even more strongly by EU bureaucrats.

As this crisis unfolds over the next couple of years, the EU is going to try to grab more power and more control.  They are going to ask national governments to give up substantial amounts of power and sovereignty in exchange for bailouts.  So far it is working.

But at some point will one nation say that enough is enough?

Perhaps that one nation could be Ireland.  The citizens of Ireland actually voted "no" on the EU Constitution, but then the EU forced them to vote a second time so that they could "get it right".

Wouldn't it be ironic if it is Ireland that ends up lighting the fuse that breaks up the euro and the European Union?  The Irish are a fiercely independent people, and they have a history of resisting tyranny.

In any event, this is going to be an extremely interesting winter across the EU.  If things go badly, the entire global financial system could be plunged into mayhem.  Let us hope that does not happen.

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  • http://WBDM Joe in JT

    Every country having it’s own unique currency makes more sense to me. I believe it’s a mistake lumping the European countries together with Euro’s. Look at squared away Germany, hard working smart people. Why should they continue to bailout the rest. When people are forced to use one currency, like the world currency Bancor the illuminatti are planning, a small group of wealthy men control the top while all others struggle at the bottom.

  • Mr Carpenter

    Ireland was the nation which held Christianity through the dark ages and allowed it to flourish while the lights of civilization dimmed nearly to extinction elsewhere in the world.

    Ireland was the nation which had the population with balls enough to say “NO” to the EU (until the EU simply kept at them and for all we know, rigged the next election until the “right” answer was given, as described in the story)

    Ireland may well be the nation which rids the earth of the abomination of the European “Community” which is anything but.

    I’m not even Irish and I love Ireland, though have not ever been there (despite living in the UK for nearly a decade, in the past).

  • http://thecivillibertarian.blogspot.com/ Something Wicked This Way Comes

    Iceland didn’t take the bait. They are surviving.

    Here’s the deal. The EU and the euro were designed to compete with the dollar. I will not get misty eyed if the whole mess falls in the Atlantic.

    Independent people have the right to self govern. Accepting this debt is like a hit off the crack pipe. It may chill the addict short term but the problem re emerges down the road.

    The answer is deep, sweeping, self imposed cuts and austerity. I hope Ireland gives the bankers the middle finger- just like we should have done in 2008 when chicken little told us the sky was falling and ripped off all of our dough and gave it to his banking cartel.

  • Michael

    I tell you what. We Americans are going to show the PIIGS what failure really looks like! The PIIGS aren’t going to have anything on us!

  • http://brunolem.wordpress.com Brunolem

    “But officials in Europe are not going to let the dream of a united Europe slip away easily.  Right now they are working really hard to keep Europe together”

    This is the point!

    They are so afraid to die with the euro that they’d rather die for the euro!

    Such a level of commitment is called fanaticism.

    Euro fanatics are ready to blow themselves, or rather their country, up, in the name of their doctrine.

    Yet, whatever the fanatics may attempt, the euro won’t prevail. In fact, it probably won’t survive.

    No more than the dollar, in which the brainless herd of the financial world is actually seeking refuge!

    Click on my name to visit my blog.

  • Jonas Harbaugh

    It has to start somewhere, Iceland put up the middle finger but they are small and detached. It has to be a snowball effect for bigger and bigger economies to shake off the fraudulent debt and send the banksters down with their ships (DC, London, The Vatican and Israel). There isn’t many places to hide in those areas and the pitchforks will be sharpened.

  • http://www.logosfera.ro/ Logosfera

    “If things go badly, the entire global financial system could be plunged into mayhem. Let us hope that does not happen.”
    Well, if Ireland does not stand up against the tyranny of EU bureaucrats, than the bureaucracy wins.
    Basically, you’re hoping that europeans become officially slaves of the Brussells masters. How nice of you :)

  • http://www.worldsalvation.info/ How to save the world?

    Spain will be the real challenge, with a GDP of more than three times Portugal and Ireland combined. The immediate issue is not so much the percentage of GDP but the total amount of money to be found.

    For the immediate challenge, the 750 billion-euro bailout fund will hold things in place. Medium to long term, other countries will have to face their obligations as well. Besides Spain, the situation in France, Italy do not look too great.

    Countries who come out of the EU will see their currency loose their value overnight and the debt they hold in euro jump over the roof, threatening their economic viability for decades. If any of the Piigs come out of the eurozone, the Euro will go up, hurting France and Germany.

    … quite an uncertain future

  • William

    Well, the Germans are right in their unhappiness in bailing out the dummies. How did YOU like being forced to bail out the criminal Wall St banksters?? As for the EU, it was a big step in the Illuminati timeline to establish a single world government with a single currency. It will not work.

  • Griz

    Take a tip from me Cowen. When you are fighting the global banksters avoid flying.

  • Emily ellen

    Ireland and other ruined countries like mine should just reassert their independence, nationalise the banks and confiscate the bankers greedy booty and use that as a start to paying back the national debt.
    Impose tariffs as a means – only – of levelling the playing field between western workers and cheap Asian labour (see Sir James Goldsmith) and put their workforces back to work producing goods internally so as not to run up vast overseas trade deficits importing gunk from China et al.
    They must also stop the mass influx of so called refugees and foreign labour which is forcing down wage rates for the working class and depressing their purchasing power.
    Lets sort out the benefit system! But lets start by deporting those with no claim to living in our couuntries and the parasites who sit on bottoms and breed endlessly getting amply rewarded for each additional semi feral offspring.
    The students at least intend to work and contribute – they should be well down the list.
    Simples.

  • http://www.alsosprachanalyst.com Zarathustra

    I believe all those EU people will try everything they can to make Euro survives. But it is, to me, very difficult in the long run to have different countries with different national interests to act in unity for the interest of Euro. That just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

    Also sprach Analyst

  • Masha

    Ireland should do what is best for the Irish people, not the bureaucrats in Brussels. I hope they make the decisions that will allow them to live a decent life, and not become “serfs” to the banking establishment.

  • jox

    A few things about Germany and this situation:

    - German banks owns a lot of greece and irish debt. So, the purpose of this ‘help’ on those countries is actually that they pay the banks. That is: the ECB lends to the banks at 1%, then they lend to the governments at 2% or 3%. And in the case the governments cannot pay, they are ‘helped’ with some money at 7%. In the end, the normal people pay in wages, taxes, worse social benefits, etc. But this is clear: the ‘hard working germans’ are not bailing out the ‘poor countries’ of EU, but the EU economic institutions, designed and ruled by french and germans, and robbing the wealth and grow of the rest of Europe.

    - Don’t you wonder why irish DON’T want to be bailed out? To be ‘helped’? One inmediatly have to ask if they really need this help, what are the conditions of this ‘help’, and why the one who gives the help is even more interested than the one receiving it.

    - Do you realize that all of this problem of Ireland is happening, casually, days after the american ‘quantitative easing’? The dollar was falling, exporting countries such as germany and France were very worried. And suddenly Ireland has a terrific problem (they don’t admit to have), and the Euro falls against the Dollar. What a coincidence! Every time the Euro is becoming too strong against the Dollar, some european countries (never France or Germany) start having ‘financial problems’. Once the Eurodollar is acceptable again, those ‘problems’ dissapear: you wont hear abour Irish or Portugal debt for months.

  • Matt

    I pray for the Irish People. I pray that they #1 wean themselves off the welfare state and thus achieve true liberty once again as they have the propensity and mettle to do unlike any others. I pray #2 that they give the finger to #1 the EU and #2 the banksters!

  • zack

    While it’s convenient when traveling in Europe, I hope that the financial crisis DOES bring about the end of the EU. The EU government has a history of unrepresentative top-down governance that is a detriment to the sovereignty of Europeans. It is bringing us ever closer to one world government, and is an enabler of tyranny.

    Jobs in Asia – http://www.pathtoasia.com/jobs/

  • whitewash

    IRELAND is the little country that could,would, & will be the staw that breaks the finanical back of the world….. The EU will not breakup !!! but the EURO will loose members,The Irish banks are heavly exposed to the American securities trash….. You can think of Ireland as a bridge to the American banks and have access to the european contental banks…The exposure is into the TRILLIONS, even with the bailout (a black hole). believe you me if the euro fails…the next shoe to drop will be the US Dollar and when the dollar fails it is going to be disasterious… Like nothing even seen in history, the turlip crisis was an “8″, the 1930′s depression was a “4″ and the coming crisis is going to become a”11″ out of “12″.the number “12″ is where the solar system blows up, thats right!! it’s going to be earth moving for every man woman & child….We as a people will be written about in history not seen sense bilical times,that is there is anybody around to write the history. We in the western world are on the wrong side of history(victors are usually the ones that do the writing)….

  • http://leibowitzsociety.blogspot.com Leibowitz Society

    Whaat is really sadly amusing about this blog entry is that the prior one was talking about the dangers of quantitative easing and how it posed a threat to the global economic system. So, we have a choice between Europe’s woes dragging the world system down and Aamerica’s woes dragging the world system down. Sure, maybe one mess might be fixed, but what about the other? And what if both messes aren’t fixed?

    Economic collapse is coming, either way, followed by political and social collapse when no one can keep the lights on. We have this time to prepare and need to make the most of it: http://leibowitzsociety.blogspot.com

  • http://WBDM Joe in JT

    “All those countries are drowning in debt. It’s becoming extremely expensive for those countries to issue new debt.”

    It doesn’t make sense! Making more debt to get out of debt. O’Bama said (and did) the same thing, it’s insane I tell you. The entire capitalist system based on debt is just not right.

  • William

    Push the damn button and let’s get this mess over with! I’m tired of waiting.

  • GoneWithTheWind

    The European countries are made up of people who generally don’t like the rest of the Europeans. The French don’t like the Germans, the Germans don’t like the Italians, and no one likes the French. This was destined to fail from day one. But in fact the major problem is that it was essentially a socialist clusterf**k from the beginning and like socialism everywhere was doomed to fail. They ran out of other people’s money to steal and now they are in trouble. So I have an idea, lets try socialism here!!!

  • David Robertson

    Jox is right. It is all for the banks’ benefit. British banks have £140 exposure to Irish bonds. The same is true of the other big banks in the EU who hold the sovereign debt of these nations.

    His point about the euro/$ exchange rate is spot on as well.

    These are tactical issues. The strategic plan is to accrue more power at the centre. The same thing is happening in the US with California close to default and many other States in danger. The plan there is also to shift more power to Washington.

  • Rod

    In nature a fatally wounded animal dies. In business it gets bailed out endlessly with fiat toilet-paper money. It’s time for the end of the fiat money system. The suffering will be global, massive and protracted but it’s the ONLY way to start afresh, which is what needs to happen.
    Ditto William – push the damn button !

  • David Robertson

    Jox is right. It is all for the banks’ benefit. British banks have £140 BILLION exposure to Irish bonds. The same is true of the other big banks in the EU who hold the sovereign debt of these nations.

    His point about the euro/$ exchange rate is spot on as well.

    These are tactical issues. The strategic plan is to accrue more power at the centre. The same thing is happening in the US with California close to default and many other States in danger. The plan there is also to shift more power to Washington.

  • Philip M.

    > Could The Financial Crisis Erupting In Ireland, Portugal, Greece
    > And Spain Lead To The End Of The Euro And The Break Up Of The
    > European Union?

    Of course it can happen!

    http://www.hedgethebets.com/latest/2010/11/how-rigid-german-monetary-and-economic-policy-threatens-the-stability-of-the-euro-zone-and-scares-investors/

    How Rigid German Economic Policy Threatens The Stability of The Euro Zone And Scares Investors

    In a nutshell: Speculators will have ample opportunity to shorten the Euro, again. It begets the question whether Europe intends to learn from past mistakes at all. And the answer is: Not if they can help it.

  • alice

    No, why should they break up! The Europeans have the same problem we in the USA have, and our choices of resolving our issues are the same. QE1,2,3,etc,,, borrow and spend,,,, austerity,,,, devaluation of currency,,, pretend we have a problem,,, print IOU’s like California did, and will do again….Should the USA breakup because it has the same problems?? NO, that will only make our enemies happier. Austerity seem to be the best solution, to the best of my knowledge!

  • lostinmissouri

    Germany is the key. If and when Germany gets tired of bailing out the other bums, they will jump out of the euro, and then the EU will crack.

    I read that Germany has had their D-mark, shadow trading, with the euro, ever since they took on the euro. It will be an easy jump back to the D-mark, when Germany has finally had enough.

  • Erin

    “It is becoming extremely expensive for all of those nations to issue new debt. Officials all over Europe are begging Ireland to accept a bailout.”

    How insane! The original sin is government fiscal irresponsibility. Government deficits solved with debt results in compounded misery.

    The cultural cancer taking root is to blame the banks, debase the currency, rob peter to pay paul, lets blame those who are fiscally responsible to pay for the sins of inept politicians. The lies shall continue until mother nature and free market forces slaps some common sense into the whole lot.

  • Irish

    I don’t understand any of this jargon….and I’m not stupid either….so how can anything be solved if the majority of people don’t understand either…

  • Gary2

    This simply proves that we need to heavily tax the rich and corporations and spread the wealth to all. Austerity does not work.

    I did not do anything to cause the economic meltdown and there is no way I am going to share the pain of recovery. This is how a lot of people feel. I did not share in the party so I do not want to hear any shared sacrifice. Look at the Wall Street bonuses still being paid out.

    TAX THE RICH, SPREAD THE WEALTH!!! there is no other way.

  • Jackson

    The German government is hook line and sinker into the New World Order overlords. They won’t pull out of the EU so easily.

    Btw did you know that Merkel is a former (?) hardcore communist? She grew up in the GDR, her father was a priest but staunch communist at the sametime. She was in the FDJ (Cmmunist Youth) as a propaganda commissar. She glleefully bows down to higher authorities (EU, UN, Central Bankers and so on).

  • http://www.beurstrade.com/waarom_een_cursus.html Rob Wessels

    Merkel is a uber communist. Everybody knows that, whith the kind of politicians in the regime Europa will always be socialistic and not capitalistic like Amerika

  • Joe

    I am and Asian and seeing the economic meltdown occuring in America and Europe actually is like watching football game. I am really enjoying this

    Why do i enjoy? Because for so long you Westerners have derided Asians and mocked them laughed at their ability. Well the tectonic plates of economic powers are shifting my dear westerners and i have no sympathy for you guys. Sorry i dont.

    Sure the Asian export economy will suffer when western countries collapse but not for long, China and India alone will provide internal domestic consumption with a population of 2.4 Billion. The dollar will collapse and new world currency will bring us Asians on a more level playing field. Good thing western countries will languish in stagnant growth as during that time Asian countries will enjoy cheap commodity prices of natural resources.

    I do not wish to see you westerners die in poverty and hunger but at the same time i will not do anything to help you out but rather want you all to go thru the same harsh times that many asian countries are going thru right now

  • mogens

    The opposide to the € is not freedom, but serfdom under the USD. Been there, done that; no t-shirt.
    The € is a pain in the ass to the americans, and they will do all they can to break it up.
    So keep fighting. There really is no alternative.

  • http://www.stopspeculators.gr Kiriakos Tobras

    To all Irish People :
    SAVE YOUR COUNTRY !!!
    Stop Speculators now !!!

    Support our action and do the same in Ireland.

    On April 09, 2010, in Athens, we filled a Criminal Fraud Charge Report, submitted to the Attorney General of the Greek Supreme Court.
    The Report is claiming against World Speculators and their Accomplices, Greek Partners, Government Officers & Banks who, by running an organized criminal plan, with consecutive actions and omissions to act, they manipulated the Greek Government Bonds Market, with the intent to achieve multiple financial gains, deceiving and damaging Greek Government Debt, Greek GDP and Greek Citizens and Taxpayers wealth.
    The year’s 2010 damage is estimated at 13 billion euros and, given the size, has already stretched Greek National Economy, Next Generations Wealth and Economic Sovereignty of the country.
    The above mentioned persons & corporations (Goldman in first place) have been also charged on the spot, with similar fraud crimes in USA and EU, following to previous investigations of local Justice and other State Authorities.
    Speculators full personal and business details have been already published, together with the detailed description of the financial fraud crimes committed.
    We strongly believe it’s time to uncover the identity of all persons, business and institutions, responsible of both the Greek & Irish Financial Holocausts and, especially, those people who sold out our countries with the intent to perform financial and political gains.
    In order to develop the claim, lead to indictments and bring all responsible persons to Justice, we ask for YOUR IMMEDIATE SUPPORT during the investigation process, started by the Greek Justice Authorities, immediately after we filled our Fraud Charge Report.

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