Friday, November 11, 2011

The geopolitics of the demise of Europe

Analysis: Euro zone failure could be vast geopolitical shock

S ource: Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) – Any euro zone failure would send shock waves around the globe, shifting the balance of geopolitical power and perhaps prompting a fundamental reassessment of what the world’s future might look like.
EU sources told Reuters that officials of France and Germany, since the 1950s the driving forces of European integration, had held discussions on a two-speed Europe with a smaller, more tightly integrated euro zone and a looser outer circle.
Estimates of how likely the currency bloc is to break up, how damaging it might be and what might remain afterwards vary wildly. But with European leaders still struggling to find a credible response to the crisis, the prospect of one or more countries leaving — and effectively defaulting on their sovereign debt as they do so – is seen rising by the day.
Suddenly, pundits, policymakers and other observers find themselves questioning one of their most fundamental assumptions — that an increasingly united Europe would be a key player in a newly multipolar world.
“You already have one of the great pillars of globalization, the United States, entering a period of difficulty and looking inward,” said Thomas Barnett, US-based chief strategist of political risk consultancy Wikistrat — which is being asked by several private clients to urgently model scenarios. “Now one of the other pillars, Europe, looks about to implode.”
That, he said, could leave the continent’s powers — who only a handful of years ago made up much of the G7 group of largest economies — increasingly sidelined as China, India, Brazil and others rose.
At the very least, analysts say, the world may have to get used to a Europe that has lost much of its confidence and has much less appetite for international engagement.
Coming after so many meetings not just of European leaders but also the G20, it would also leave the reputation of existing global governance systems and a generation of political and economic elites in tatters. Some of the damage may already be largely irreversible...
Comment: It is amazing to see how so many analysts can be so wrong as they do not understand that those countries and areas that take up the challenge and try to find an adquate response are the ones that will move ahead. Discard Europe at your own costs, I at least won't do it (yet).

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