Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Big Crisis = Big Change As EU Faces First Big Crisis

If there were no changes in the EU, then we probably wouldn't see the transformation into the 10 Kings phase of development into the Tribulation. Somehow, the revived Roman Empire must morph into 10 Kings, whether through contraction, or perhaps growth into 10 world regions. This detail is not clear from biblical prophecy. But we know with certainty from Daniel 2, 7 and Revelation 17 that 10 Kings will emerge. How, exactly this will happen is anyone's guess, but it certainly won't happen in the absence of change. 

Now we are on the threshold of seeing some changes in the EU and it will be very interesting to see where this goes:

Europe worries Brexit vote could trigger a stampede of exits
Days ahead of Thursday’s British referendum on whether to break free from the European Union, many here fear the decision could lead to the destruction of one of the most ambitious political projects since the Holy Roman Empire.
Euroskeptics across the continent are salivating at the prospect of Britain’s departure, hoping to sever their own territories from a map that stretches from the sunny coasts of Portugal to the frigid taiga of Finland. With populist parties surging across the continent, the Brits could be only the first to leave.
The region has been dramatically tested in recent years, by the Greek debt crisis, renewed Russian aggression and, more recently, a historic migration crisis. Britain’s exit, officials and experts say, could provide the biggest challenge yet.
Some of those who have occupied the E.U.’s highest offices now say they were mistaken to think that if they knocked down economic barriers, a feeling of political unity underneath the blue-and-gold E.U. flag would follow. 
The turmoil “is extremely disappointing to the founding fathers, who thought they were like medieval alchemists,” Lamy said. “They thought they could transform the stone of economic integration into the gold of political integration.”
As “leave” started to beat “remain” in British opinion polls in recent weeks, E.U. diplomats say that their sense of complacency was replaced by deep nervousness. Already, pressure to hold E.U. referendums is leaping across the English Channel. An Ipsos Mori poll last month found that 55 percent of French voters and 58 percent of Italian voters wanted plebiscites of their own. 

In France, where the far-right, Euroskeptic National Front has surged in the polls ahead of 2017 presidential elections, one center-right presidential hopeful suggested holding a referendum as a way of reaffirming France’s commitment to European values. Bruno Le Maire, who was France’s agriculture minister during the presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy, last month proposed giving “the floor back to the sovereign people about the European question.” 
But many analysts are not confident that French voters would choose to remain in the E.U. if presented with the choice. French views of the E.U. are even worse than Britons’, according to a poll this month from the Pew Research Center. The center found that 61 percent of French people have negative views of the E.U., compared with 48 percent in Britain. 

Growing anger at the E.U. is also a product of what its critics see as its many failings: Running Greece into the ground in exchange for the right to remain in the euro zone. Failing to solve massive unemployment across southern Europe. Miscalculating the Russian response to the E.U. bid to bring Ukraine closer to Brussels. And the E.U.’s fractured handling of the refugee crisis — including forging a deal with a man increasingly seen as an emerging dictator at Europe’s doorstep, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Proponents of the E.U., meanwhile, have sometimes struggled to mount arguments that appeal to the heart, not just the pocketbook. Part of the difficulty is that the bloc is now so large and diverse that there is no single, unifying selling point. 
“There is no European ideal that is clearly defined and on which all members would agree,” said Latvia’s ambassador to the E.U., Sanita Pavluta-Deslandes. Latvia joined the E.U. in 2004, in part as a shield from its former rulers in the Kremlin. 
The E.U. “has become far less Francophone, far more Anglophone, far more globalized,” said Michael Leigh, a British citizen who left the European Commission in 2011 as director general for enlargement, one of the highest civil-service positions in the system. 

On June 23, British citizens will cast their ballots in the long-awaited referendum on whether the United Kingdom should remain in the European Union.
Known unofficially as “Brexit,” the referendum represents a watershed moment in Euro
pean politics. It deals with an issue far larger than the political and economic relationship between London and Brussels. What Brexit is fundamentally about is the idea of Europe itself, and whether the notion of an “ever closer” continent — a unquestioned pillar of postwar development — has lasting appeal in 2016, 70 years after World War II.
Poll statistics suggest that it might not. According to the results of a Pew survey released Tuesday — of more than 10,000 participants in 10  major E.U. nations this year — Euroskepticism is on the rise across the continent, even outside of Britain. Only  51 percent of those polled expressed a positive view of the Brussels-based institution, while 42 percent expressed the desire to have certain powers restored to their local governments.

Although E.U. favorability has generally been in decline — with temporary upticks — since 2012, when the Eurozone economic crisis began, it has fallen significantly in the past year. In both France and Spain, for instance, Pew reports that favorability has dropped by double-digits between 2015 and 2016.
As for an explanation, the poll data indicate that “overwhelming majorities” in each of the 10  countries surveyed disapprove of the way the E.U. has handled the migrant crisis, which saw more than 1 million people pour into continental Europe in 2015 alone.
The crisis represents the largest on European soil since  1945, and it is far from over: Just last week, more than 1,000 people died in the Mediterranean while attempting to reach Europe. Brussels has yet to institute a comprehensive rescue policy. Perhaps predictably, the disapproval of E.U. migrant policy is strongest in several of the countries most directly affected: 94 percent of Greeks, 77 percent of Italians  and 88 percent of Swedes polled expressed dissatisfaction.

According to the data, the E.U.’s handling of economic issues “is another huge source of disaffection with the institution.” Approximately 68 percent of Italians, 66 percent of French  and 65 percent of Spanish expressed unfavorable opinions. In Eastern Europe, however, where general support for the E.U. was highest, numbers were different: 47 percent of people polled in both Poland Germany expressed satisfaction. In general, 72 percent of Poles and 61 percent of Hungarians support the E.U.

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