Trends (in Europe)
As I had forecast in the Trends Journal and repeated in media worldwide, it would only be a matter of time before Europeans would wake up to the same realization: the system had to change. What distinguished this latest round of Spanish protests from earlier ones in Europe was that very realization; no matter how many votes were dropped into the ballot box, the result would be essentially the same. All the shouting, demands, marches and strikes would accomplish nothing without a responsive government to address them – and this could not be achieved through the current system in which, despite the rhetoric, there was little difference between the major parties.
Trend Forecast: The massive bailouts of Greece and Ireland are already proven failures, and the Portuguese bailout will follow the same path: more debt, higher unemployment, draconian austerity measures imposed upon the people, and a wholesale sell-off of valuable public resources.
Spain, the UK and Italy are next in line to suffer the long-term consequences of the economic “Panic of ‘08” … that has been only temporarily assuaged by the trillions pumped in by the central banks to keep the financial system afloat.
Economic conditions will continue to deteriorate for most European nations. The worse they get, the louder and more heated the protests will become. Entrenched political parties, unwilling to make adequate concessions or yield power, will intensify their crackdown efforts.
The youth-inspired Spanish demonstrations, sit-ins and camp-outs will serve as a template for the equally disenfranchised youth of other countries. In the absence of an economic miracle, divine intervention … or a fulfilled Doomsday Prophesy (in which case all forecasts are off), expect protests to mount throughout the summer of 2011 and continue into 2012 and beyond.
One wild card that might derail the demonstrations, quiet the discontent and unite the people, would be one or several terror strikes in European cities. Considering NATO’s military actions against Libya, revenge attacks are a distinct possibility. (Trends Journal)