While the U.S. economy may be seeing a slight tick upward despite poor job numbers, in Europe, the Euro and other currencies are hitting lows against the dollar, and dividing the continent.
PRI reported today on a meeting of European finance ministers to assess the latest troubles.
Some countries such as France and Germany have climbed out of the recession, others have not, and that’s putting a strain on the Euro and the Eurozone governments.
Five Eurozone countries in particular are struggling with negative growth, high unemployment and soaring debt. Economists refer to them by the unfortunate acronym, PIGGS — that’s Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain.
The BBC’s Gavin Hewitt remarked on the current climate, and found that traditional European industrial leaders losing ground in industry.
China has taken over from Germany as the world’s largest exporter. In speech after speech you detect that Europe is racked with concern over its lack of competitiveness.
Europe is leading on green policy and environmental issues, but as talks in Copenhagen broke down last month, NPR/Foreign Policy commentator Jonathan Holslag noted that the continent may not have the economic strength to support the green trends it’s promoting for the rest of the world.
This ambition to turn the challenge of climate change into an opportunity for economic growth has been entirely missing in the European Union. When melting glaciers started to make newspaper headlines, Europe started to dream of making green power into a sort of soft power. It spent billions to profile itself as a clean-energy champion vis-à-vis China, India, and Brazil. This engagement certainly helped raise awareness, but at the same time Europe failed to engage its own member states.
But there’s one trend where Europe is consistently leading the pack: Fashion. There’s a hat craze that’s hitting Paris, Global Post reports, and these styles harken fashion back to a simpler time. Could berets be an economic indicator, too?