Friday, January 27, 2006

Demographics May Destroy Euro, Bolkestein Reckons

Another demographic horror story: Frits Bolkestein, ex-EU Commissioner, warns that the ageing population will place "ruthless" pressure on the euro in 10 years' time. Pensioners will then outnumber the working population, thus forcing governments to increase borrowing and increase their deficits, undermining the euro.

In truth, this undermining of the euro is already in full swing. The laughably toothless Stability Pact, which sought to limit contries' deficits, has been ignored by the bigger countries. In a way, Bolkestein's warnings understate the pressure on the euro.

As to the impending pensions crisis, it appears the only way to avoid it is to increase immigration into Europe. But that, of course, will only exacerbate the other scenario of doom - the "EU under sharia law by the mid 21st century" - a scenario tirelessly propagated by Mark Steyn.

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