Sep 12, 2022
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Europe enters a period of upheaval

If the EU does not change policy, it will cease to exist

Today, many conversations, discussions, publications in the European press relate to the upcoming winter. The energy crisis hit the economy and the people of Europe. The future after the shutdown of Nord Stream threatens with even greater complications. It is impossible to keep up with the rapidly rising prices.

Is Europe in danger of a “winter of popular discontent”?

Hungary is one of the few countries that is calmly waiting for the onset of cold weather, because Budapest has rejected the sanctions of the united West against Russia. Supplies from the Russian Federation to Hungary account for about 85 percent of gas imports. In 2021, Gazprom signed a 15-year contract with Hungary for the supply of 3.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year, the contract is being fulfilled.

Viktor Orban has repeatedly said that the country cannot do without Russian gas. Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto recently stated this: “If you look at the infrastructure and geography of our region, you cannot exclude Russia. If you do not consider Russian sources, you will not be able to meet your needs.” Without Russian gas, there will be no heating in Hungarian apartments, and this will have to be explained to the people. The power of other sources is not enough.

In September-October, Gazprom will supply Hungary with an additional 353.8 million cubic meters of gas, which will go through the Turkish Stream. This will allow the country to prepare for the winter, and in case of interruptions in gas supplies through Ukraine, to provide assistance to neighbors – Austria and Slovakia.

Germany, unlike Hungary, lacks optimism. Bad news is pouring in from everywhere. Newspaper Handelsblatt citing analysts from the Institute of World Economy, she said that next year the country’s GDP will decrease from 0.7 to 1.4 percent, showing a decline of 150 billion euros. Inflation will rise to 8.7 percent and energy costs will rise by 260 billion euros.

The forecasts of the American Bloomberg are also depressing: if Russia does not let gas through Nord Stream, Germany will have to switch to forced rationing. This will lead to a reduction in production by 65 percent and the bankruptcy of many companies.

In Germany, unemployment, people are forced to save on apartment lighting, home heating, water, prices in stores are flying up. From October 1, the Germans will be forced to pay extra for gas, as the country will introduce a surcharge for end consumers.

All this is especially acutely felt by low-income citizens, but representatives of the middle class also grumble. “It can be assumed that the first major speeches will take place as early as September,” said Mark Bernhart, deputy of the Bundestag energy committee, from the Alternative for Germany party. The head of this party, Tino Krupalla, believes that Germany is on the verge of such powerful protests as have not been seen since 1989.

“Germany is on the verge of a social explosion,” says Alexander Kamkin, senior researcher at IMEMO RAS. – What is the statement of the head of the German Foreign Ministry Annalena Berbock, who said that she does not care about her own voters, since she supports the Ukrainian regime. This is the opinion of the German political class, which is now running the show.”

The Czech Republic is still discussing a mass protest on Wenceslas Square in the center of Prague, in which more than 70,000 people took part. The demonstrators called on the authorities to pay more attention to controlling energy prices and made slogans against the European Union and NATO. They demanded to conclude a new agreement with Russia on the export of gas, to stop the supply of weapons to Ukraine, to block the admission of refugees from there.

Moreover, the Czechs demanded that the government resign before September 25th. This is the ultimatum of the street.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala accused “forces that take a pro-Russian position and contradict the interests of the Czech Republic” in organizing the demonstrations, but Justice Minister Pavel Blazek is more objective: if the energy crisis is not resolved, the country’s political system will be in jeopardy, and the European Union risks ceasing to exist. .

“Belgium is bankrupt,” said Antwerp Mayor Bart de Wever. “We have become the new Greece… In the port of Antwerp, some petrochemical plants have already closed. Look at our debt, government spending, deficit – it’s worse than in southern Europe. Of course, this is not a crisis caused by Putin, this is a crisis that Europe has brought on itself.”

Thousands of people took to the streets of Vienna with the flags of Austria and Russia. The demonstrators are holding slogans against the EU and NATO, calls to lift anti-Russian sanctions and open both Nord Streams.

Massive anti-government rallies were held in Greek Thessaloniki. Demonstrations against the policies of Emmanuel Macron took place in Paris, culminating in riots. Thousands of Amsterdam residents protested against the actions of the Cabinet of Ministers Mark Rutte.

“The energy crisis is unnerving political leaders. They fear for the fate of their governments,” writes Politico. Loud statements denouncing Moscow no longer suit ordinary Europeans in the current situation: they demand concrete actions from the authorities that can resolve the crisis.

Therefore, the protests will grow.

Oleg Ivanov, an expert at the Center for Applied Research and Programs, says: “I think that in the wake of general discontent, the current liberal-democratic centrists will be replaced by either the extreme left or the extreme right. It will prioritize national rather than pan-European interests.”

The ship of the European Union lists, threatens to leak. If the EU does not change policy, it will cease to exist.

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