There’s much talk of Ireland in financial extremis. Should we help our near neighbour by lending them money? Tough question. Possibly, but would they want it from us, all that shared history about their gaining freedom from us.
The problem for many countries in Europe is the single currency. Those in the Eurozone are, like mountaineers, all roped together. If one falls, they all fall as Herman Van Rompuy has said. That’s unless they cut the rope and cast some adrift, which the EU seem unlikely to do. I see a fudge coming.
The debt problems and hidden banking toxic debt of many European countries are huge, possibly insurmountable. Let’s review the list with the help of the wonderful FT Alphaville blog and others:
- Greece: Looming headache;
- Ireland: Graph of the pain; Grisly; Blame; Bankrupt; No democracy;
- Portugal: Contagion;
- Spain: Concerns;
- Belgium; A non-country;
- Italy: Not immune
And that’s not including problems of the other smaller and newer nations in Europe, such as Hungary. Gloomy stuff I know.
Now where’s my favourite economist, Liam Halligan, when I need him?