Is the Eurozone on the verge of collapse?

The European economic crisis remains in the news like a plague. I can't recall at any point in my lifetime anything that has been the focus of more news reports and run longer than this crisis except for the Vietnam war. Obviously the European financial crisis is far from being over and logic dictates that it will probably even get worse before it gets better, if it gets better.

Even before the Euro came into being I was highly skeptical, was it really so necessary not only to have a comprehensive free trade agreement, but also a common currency? This was the question I kept asking myself over and over. I drew upon my own observations as a Canadian having gone through all the trials and tribulations of the FTA (Free Trade Agreement) and watched the further complications as it evolved into NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement). The growing pains were substantial and we [Canada/USA/Mexico] didn't have the additional problems of a common currency to worry about. Now it seems my worst fears are coming true, the economy is in chaos, unemployment is at record highs, countries are fighting amongst themselves and it's all about laying blame for the crisis and bickering about who should pay to fix it. Sometimes it appears that there is even a possibility that the Eurozone itself could disintegrate.

As Brazil Animator I see postings and I'm getting PMs on almost a daily basis from people all over the Eurozone desparate to get out. Many refer to it as a "sinking ship". I have to wonder how bad it must be there when it forces people to think seriously about uprooting themselves and their families, risk their entire future to come to a country still in development, full of its own problems and dangers.

So, my question to you - all forum members who are either of European origins or who have spent extended periods in Europe - is this:

Just how bad is the situation in Europe? What's your take on things and your predictions for the future. Is there a chance that the Eurozone is in danger of total collapse and the Euro could cease to exist?

Your comments are invited

Cheers,
William James Woodward - Brazil Animator, Expat-blog Team

Hi William,

Thanks for getting this conversation rolling. I live in Seville, Spain, where I've been for the last 7 years. The situation is bleak over here, about 500,000 Spaniards have left Spain in the last year to look for better opportunities elsewhere. Most are flocking to Britain and Ireland, a few to Australia.

Personally I'm doing all right as an English teacher, English is in massive demand over here so the crisis hasn't affected that, yet. But my wife got made redundant a year or so ago and she's just about to finish her work experience on the back of a government funded secretarial course. Hopefully she'll find something soon.

My predictions are that it'll take another 3 or 4 years until the economy turns round. Confidence is low, spenders are leaving the country, and the government is unsure what they are doing.

If anyone is thinking of coming to Spain to teach then I'd recommend it, any other jobs are hard to come by though.

I also write a blog which has a few articles on Spain. You can see it here Teaching English in a Foreign Land: Spain

Hope to hear from some more expats.

Baz

Bazseville :

Hi William,

The situation is bleak over here, about 500,000 Spaniards have left Spain in the last year to look for better opportunities elsewhere. Most are flocking to Britain and Ireland, a few to Australia.

Very few Spaniards are moving to Ireland. I'm not sure where you got your info from but it's false. Since the start of the economic crisis, 400,000 Irish people emigrated elsewhere due to the extremely bleak situation facing Ireland. That is why unemployment is 15% (and rising). I did my own estimate and made a grim discovery that unemployment would be 27% here only for the emigration of 400,000 since '08.

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