George Friedman will be watching how one last piece of the global financial crisis plays out very carefully. Peter M.J. Gross explains.
Kai Konrad painted a picture of troubled states increasingly doubtful of the European Union, warning “don’t expect much from Germany.”
A large majority of the 667 respondents, 81%, said no: They expect the German chancellor’s famously austere stance toward Europe’s economically struggling nations to remain the same. This view is consistent with Merkel’s own post-election statements, in which she continued to iterate her opposition to a temporary debt repayment fund, despite widespread European support.
The number of people over 80 will double by 2050, from 3.9% of the population to 9.1% across OECD member countries, and from 4.7% to 11.3% across 27 EU members. It is estimated that up to half of this elderly population will need help coping with their daily needs; yet even today, governments are battling to deliver high-quality care to those with impaired physical and mental abilities.
Germany may well be experiencing a real-estate bubble — and the explanation is straightforward: the European Central Bank has lowered rates in response to the global financial crisis that began in 2008, and then dropped rates dramatically in response to the euro crisis, which didn't gain steam until late 2009, and then pushed rates near zero in late 2011 — where they have remained.
Most commentators trace the beginning of the European sovereign debt crisis to 5 November 2009, when Greece revealed that its budget deficit was 12.7% of gross domestic product (GDP), more than twice what the country had previously disclosed. However, the real origins of the crisis can be traced to the very structures that govern Europe's institutions.
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