The EU Plunges into Self-Imposed Economic Decline and Social Upheavals

German Economics Minister Robert Habeck expects major social disputes in a few months’ time, as a result of the costs of the war against Ukraine. Speaking June 2 on the national television show Maybrit Illner, the former Green Party chairman said: “We will see a dramatic increase in heating costs… Whether the political measures will then be sufficient to sustain social peace and the feeling that things are fair in this country will become the decisive question of the autumn and winter.” What he did not say is that he himself is actively contributing to the brewing social unrest. He voted on May 30 for an EU decision rejecting a cap on energy prices, which leaves citizens hostage to market speculators, and he is all for the limited EU embargo on Russian oil, which has already now led to substantial price rises.

If Mr. Habeck were really concerned about protecting energy consumers, both private and industrial, as he claims, he would have suspended Germany’s total exit from nuclear power by the end of 2022. Instead, his ministry plans to maintain in reserve the power plants burning hard coal and lignite that are due to be shut down (up to 8 GW), at least as a stop-gap measure until Germany reaches the “paradise” of all-renewables later this decade. So much for all the Green rhetoric about the urgent goal of decarbonizing the economy, coal being the most carbon-emitting source.

The suicidal energy policies of the European Union have been repeatedly addressed by objective experts, who warn in particular that the sanctions policy have harmed the EU much more than Russia. The just-decided sixth package of sanctions is expected to send inflation (already at the alarming rate of 8.1% in the Eurozone) out of control. That perspective is clear for Russian economists cited in the June 3 Izvestia, and reported by Tass. “We expect that the embargo will push oil prices higher by $15-20 per barrel… accelerating inflation, which has already reached its highest level since the creation of the Eurozone,” according to the head of Moscow’s Energy Development Center Kirill Melnikov.

A more dramatic assessment is given by Sergey Chernikov, Associate Professor at the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia: the processes that will take place in the EU in the coming 18 months, he said, will be similar to those that Russia experienced in the early 1990s, with large groups of the population plunging into poverty and governments canceling many social benefits. As a result, in his view, many everyday things, such as having a cup of coffee in the morning, will become a luxury in Europe.

As we have reported, the blame for that lies squarely with Brussels and its obsession with both the Green Deal and the destruction of the Russian economy through sanctions.

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