Europe’s Troubles

Steven LeBlanc1 1 2015Germany’s Angela Merkel and other European Leaders sit down with President Putin of Russia

The following excerpt is taken from George Friedman who runs the intelligence service He looks back at 2014 as we look ahead to 2015. It is an especially insightful column that reveals the stress existing in Europe today– [emphasis throughout is mine]:

Europe’s Persistent Decline

“The single most important event in 2014 was one that did not occur: Europe did not solve its longstanding economic, political and social problems. I place this as number one because regardless of its decline, Europe remains a central figure in the global system. The European Union’s economy is the largest in the world, taken collectively, and the Continent remains a center of global commerce, science and culture. Europe’s inability to solve its problems, or really to make any significant progress, may not involve armies and explosions, but it can disrupt the global system more than any other factor present in 2014.

The vast divergence of the European experience is as troubling as the general economic malaise. Experience is affected by many things, but certainly the inability to find gainful employment is a central feature of it. The huge unemployment rates in Spain, Greece and southern Europe in general profoundly affect large numbers of people. The relative prosperity of Germany and Austria diverges vastly from that of southern Europe, so much so that it calls into question the European Union’s viability.

Indeed, we have seen a rise of anti-EU parties not only in southern Europe but also in the rest of Europe as well. None have crossed the threshold to power, but many are strengthening along with the idea that the benefits of membership in a united Europe, constituted as it is, are outweighed by the costs. Greece will have an election in the coming months, and it is possible that a party favoring withdrawal from the eurozone will become a leading power. The United Kingdom’s UKIP favors withdrawal from the European Union altogether.

There is significant and growing risk that either the European Union will have to be revised dramatically to survive or it will simply fragment. The fragmentation of the European Union would shift authority formally back to myriad nation states. Europe’s experience with nationalism has been troubling, to say the least — certainly in the first part of the 20th century. And when a region as important as Europe redefines itself, the entire world will be affected.

Therefore, Europe’s failure to make meaningful progress in finding a definitive solution to a problem that began to emerge six years ago has overwhelming global significance. It also raises serious questions about whether the problem is soluble. It seems to me that if it were, it would have been solved, given the threat it poses. With each year that passes, we must be open to the possibility that this is no longer a crisis that will pass, but a new, permanent European reality. This is something we have been pointing to for years, and we see the situation as increasingly ominous because it shows no signs of improving.”

The European Union, as we find it today (28 member Union), cannot be the final formation we understand as the Beast. The Bible is clear that end-time Europe involves 10 “kings”—which today could include presidents, kings or prime ministers—”who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour [indicating a very short time] as kings with the beast” (Revelation 17:12). This “beast” is the name the Bible gives to the leader of this end-time alliance, which is also called “the beast,” given its brutal nature. Together the rulers forming this alliance “will make war with the Lamb”—the returning Jesus Christ (verse 14). This will happen in the near future.

The Scriptures do not give clear indications of what will bring about the transition to the “ten kings” at some point—perhaps economic upheaval will reshape Europe. Verse 13 says that the 10 leaders in this final union will be “of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast.” So we continue to watch Europe, knowing a great change will come to Europe. 2015 promises to be a volatile year.

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