NHJ Predictions for 2012
Well known TV Presenter in 2011: “You are consistently ahead of events”
We see a 50% chance of serious economic unwinding for Europe in 2012 that results in set backs to democracy, increasing protest and disorder, and multiple governments deciding towards the end of the year to dramatically cut back welfare state and e.g. international development commitments. There is a much smaller, but still serious, risk of worse - system-wide economic disaster - that sets dominoes tumbling including beyond Europe. In any event, watch out for a marked rise in protectionism.
There will be referendums in some of the Eurozone countries (e.g. Ireland) that will result in a ‘No’ vote because the proposed treaty changes impose new disciplines, but offer no way out of the current problems. The EU will try to overturn the election result - but they will not win through. The Greeks in particular will finally recognise that they are only loosing by staying in the Euro, and will decide – however reluctantly – that a future decade of ultra-austerity just to get back to a "mere" 120% cent GDP debt is not going to run; and accepting more discipline and more rules which don't address the underlying problems of the Euro just isn’t worth the pain. The European Union will be consumed by internal crises – the big question is whether firewalls can prevent contagion and systemic collapse if and when Greece and maybe a couple of others bin the euro?