Is Europe About to Face Mass Deindustrialization?
Europe is potentially on the verge of deindustrializing in a way that has not been seen in modern history.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo believes that there will be a marked decline in industrial activity and an increase in social unrest unless energy prices can be lowered.
During an interview that was published on the Financial Times on October 6, 2022, de Croo stated that unless the government intervenes in gas markets, “we are risking massive deindustrialization of the European continent and the long-term consequences that might actually be very deep.”
De Croo called for a multi-pronged strategy to address the gas crisis. He believes that it should feature a stiff price cap on Russian natural gas, in addition to negotiations with energy suppliers such as Algeria and Norway. Plus, De Croo called for a “dynamic” limit on liquefied natural gas (LNG)’s price, which he believes could be fixed slightly above prices in the US or Asia to allow for continued flows to Europe.
The Belgian leader called for prudential governance when it comes to tackling higher rates of inflation and the growing social unrest that it’s generating.
“Our populations are getting invoices which are completely insane. At some point, it will snap. I understand that people are angry . . . people don’t have the means to pay it,” De Croo said to the Financial Times.
According to a RT report, De Croo’s comments came after “thousands of demonstrators rallied in Brussels in late September to demand higher wages and lower energy prices after it was revealed that some 64% of the country’s citizens were afraid of not being able to pay their energy bills which had reached a staggering average of €700 ($690) a month.”
The Belgian PM ominously declared on a previous occasion that “the next five to ten winters will be difficult” in Europe because of record gas prices. However, he stressed that Belgium would brave the crisis “if we support each other in these difficult times.”
Gas prices across Europe climbed upward following the launch of Russia’s military incursion in Ukraine on February 24 earlier this year. The Collective West responded with broad-based sanctions and started to cut itself off Russian energy supplies, which caused gas prices to reach record levels and exacerbate an ongoing inflation crisis.
Overall, the Collective West is in for a rude awakening this winter. The West’s fanatic commitment to interventionism both at home and abroad is finally blowing up in its face, which will disproportionately impact the humblest sectors of its society.
A massive course correction is needed in order for the West to avoid an economic catastrophe. This would entail Western states to scale back both their regulatory and warfare states, something that none of the political classes in these countries are willing to do.