by Stephen Lendman
Is Europe heading toward protracted economic depression — similar to or worse than the 1930s?
According to David Stockman, Europe faces possible "inflation-driven depression" ahead — because of going along with hegemon USA's proxy hot and sanctions war on Russia.
Their ruling regimes have been self-inflicting harm on their economies and populations — while their intended target Russia is holding up well.
Since the Obama/Biden regime's 2014 coup — transforming Ukraine into a Nazi-infested police state — European consumer purchasing power declined.
And because European industry depends heavily on plentiful supplies of readily available energy — especially natural gas — sanctions on what's essential from Russia amounts to slow-motion economic suicide.
Notably because of soaring gas prices, European industries dependent on its availability at an affordable cost are cutting back on or "shutting down due to the prohibitive cost of process fuel," Stockman explained, adding:
"(T)he energy crisis is rippling across industries and threatening sectors from glass-making to food production…metals smelting" and other sectors of European economies.
At the same time, the cost of electricity is at or near record highs, "paving the way for painfully high consumer rates across the continent through the winter and well beyond."
"Overall, the entire Eurozone, as well as the UK, faces the worst cost-of-living crisis in modern memory" — what's likely to be protracted.
Stockman cited the example of how unaffordable electricity may force a small Irish coffee shop to shut down, as reported by the Irish Times, saying:
"The cost of electricity to the Poppyfields cafe for 73 days from early June until end of August came in at €9,024.70 an increase of 250 per cent in just 12 months."
It "doesn't include the €812.22 in VAT, which brought (the) total bill to €9,836.92" — $9,852.81 for around two-and-a-half month's worth of electricity.
Annualized, the cost would total $49,264.05.
In fact, it would exceed this amount because of high heating costs from late fall through early spring.
In response to what she can't afford, Poppyfields cafe owner, Geraldine Dolan, tweeted the following:
"I got this electricity bill today."
"How in the name of God is this possible."
"We're a small coffee shop in westmeath."
She's not alone. Countless thousands of small, medium-sized and large European businesses face unprecedented financial harm.
Stressing reality, Stockman noted that "by mid-winter, the European economy will be flat on its back."
And this reality check from German Association of Municipalities Vice-President Ulf Kemper, saying:
If Russia's Nord Stream I continues to operate at one-fifth of capacity when not shut down entirely for maintenance, German natural gas usage will have to cut back at least 20%.
If gas flows from Russia to Europe halt entirely, Germany will face a 40% shortfall — with no available alternative source of supply enough to make up for what's lost.
Along with what harms European businesses…households, municipal services and office buildings will be adversely affected.
By late fall, through winter to early spring, will energy-saving blackouts become commonplace across Europe?
And this from a German observer:
"We're looking at nothing less than the total failure of green energy policies."
"The Greens spent years promoting electricity as the only environmentally responsible sustainable solution, shutting down our nuclear power plants, pouring untold billions into wind and solar which do not work, and burning cheap Russian gas as a fake transitional measure to hold the whole scam together."
"It's no accident that former chancellor Angela Merkel, responsible for our disastrous decision to phase out nuclear power, fought so hard for Nord Stream 2."
When winter conditions wreak havoc across Europe, harebrained sanctions war on Russia by ruling regimes will bear full responsibility.
At the same time, Russia's largely self-sufficient economy is improving.
Year-to-date through August, its average monthly oil revenue is around $20 billion — compared to $14.6 billion monthly throughout 2021.
New buyers of its highly valued energy in the Asia/Pacific, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean replaced European ones.
And its liberating SMO in Ukraine and Donbass is proceeding as planned.
Because of self-destructive economic and financial policies instituted by European regimes — severely harming the great majority of their people — their only solution is voting them out of office, Stockman stressed, adding:
There's "no other way to stop (hegemon USA's) arrogant warmongers and neocons, who('ve) taken the global economy to the brink."