I’ve often been labeled as “Gloom and Doom” in the past, but the situation in Europe today is beyond anything I’ve ever seen before. It is highly likely that the EU will not exist in their current form by the end of the year
I realize some of this may sound overly dramatic. But the following should give you an idea of how serious things are getting:
A Vote of No Confidence in Europe
Germany and France’s joint proposal to allow Schengen-zone countries to temporarily reintroduce border controls as a means of last resort might sound harmless. But doing so would damage one of the strongest symbols of European unity and perhaps even contribute to the EU’s demise.
Germany and France are serious this time. During next week’s meeting of European Union interior ministers, the two countries plan to start a discussion about reintroducing national border controls within the Schengen zone. According to the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich and his French counterpart, Claude Guéant, have formulated a letter to their colleagues in which they call for governments to once again be allowed to control their borders as “an ultima ratio” — that is, measure of last resort — “and for a limited period of time.” They reportedly go on to recommend 30-days for the period.
Granted, the Schengen system is not perfect. With the EU’s eastward expansion, its external borders have become more porous. The problem areas are well-known: Greece doesn’t sufficiently guard its border with Turkey, and Italy simply allows refugees through to continue their journey into neighboring countries. Doing so violates the Schengen Agreement, which stipulates that immigrants have to be taken care of by the country in which they arrive.
The above story have been almost completely ignored by the mainstream media. Let me ask you this… do you think Germany and others are really concerned about an influx of migrants? Of course not, the whole idea is ridiculous. Italy was supposedly upset about 25,000 migrants from North Africa… Italy has a population of 65 MILLION!
No, the move to create border controls is about one thing only: stopping people from fleeing with their money when the collapse comes. The political elite in Europe are watching the bank runs in Spain and Greece and know that when the big Crash comes similar runs will occur throughout the EU.
Consider the following, more recent stories and you’ll see what I mean:
Exclusive: EU floats worst-case plans for Greek euro exit: sources
European finance officials have discussed as a worst-case scenario limiting the size of withdrawals from ATM machines, imposing border checks and introducing capital controls in at least Greece should Athens decide to leave the euro…
As well as limiting cash withdrawals and imposing capital controls, they have discussed the possibility of suspending the Schengen agreement, which allows for visa-free travel among 26 countries, including most of the European Union.
Swiss eye capital controls if Greece goes
The Swiss National Bank is considering imposing capital controls on foreign deposits if Greece leaves the euro, as the franc comes under heavy demand from investors seeking a haven in Europe.
Speaking to Swiss media, Thomas Jordan, head of the Swiss central bank, said the Swiss government and the SNB were looking at ways of dealing with an expected flood of foreign money into the country in the event of a Greek exit from the eurozone.
This is not Gloom and Doom. This is reality. Talks are already underway of suspending the Schengen agreement and implementing border and capital controls. The Schengen agreement and freedom across borders was at the very basis of the Eurozone. And now the political elite want to suspend this?
Moreover, the fact that these stories are even making it to the media tells us point blank that the political leaders In Europe are absolutely terrified by the situation they have on their hands.
Indeed, the UK is implementing numerous contingency plans ranging from implementing border controls to literally preparing to help thousands of British expats flee the Eurozone should the banking system collapse and Brits around the EU find themselves without access to cash.
Speaking of which, here’s another story the media has been downplaying:
Natwest glitch: RBS chief Stephen Hester faces pressure to explain fault to public
Stephen Hester, the chief executive of Natwest owner the Royal Bank of Scotland, was under pressure last night to give a public account of the breakdown of the bank’s computer systems as politicians and small businesses attacked the bank’s failures and the crisis entered its sixth day.
Mr Hester admitted yesterday in an email to staff that RBS was not “out of the woods” with the bank drafting in thousands of staff over the weekend to try to deal with the issue. It now looks likely that the cost of the bank’s technical problems will run into tens of millions of pounds.
In his first public statement over the disruption to 12 million business and personal customer accounts of both RBS and its subsidiary, NatWest, which began on Tuesday night, Mr Hester told the bank’s staff that there was “more hard work ahead”.
In a confidential message sent to those working this weekend, a copy of which was seen by The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Hester said: “Behind the scenes, we are making progress on our task to clear the backlog of payments.”
That is correct, 12 million RBS customers have been shut out of their accounts and ATM withdrawals for SIX days due to a “glitch.” REALLY?
Let’s be blunt, the EU banking system is a $46 trillion toxic sewer filled with PIIGS debt. Even the ECB’s is not immune to this mess: over a quarter of its balance sheet is comprised of this garbage.
This is why the ECB freaked out and pumped so much money into the EU banking system. You don’t spend over $1 trillion in nine months unless something very very bad is coming down the pike. The fact countries are now actively putting together contingency plans to get their citizens out of EU should give you an idea of how fragile the entire system is over there. Yes, they political leaders will try to float various ideas on how they’ll “solve” the problems, but the reality is that there simply isn’t enough capital available to prop up the system. And the market is starting to realize this (see the yields on Italian and Spanish bonds as well as those countries respective CDS).
So if you’re not already taking steps to prepare for the coming collapse of the EU, you need to do so now. We have at most a few months and possibly just a few weeks before the EU Crisis comes to a head.
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Chief Market Strategist
Phoenix Capital Research