Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Leopaul's Heaven and Hell: The Trouble with Europe


Come 23rd of June, every single Brit in the UK will take part in the historical EU referendum and decide whether the UK should stay or leave the European Union once and fol all. With the world eyes on the fate of Great Britain, that begs me one thing, what's with the trouble with Europe anyway?

Europe has been the hallmark of culture, ideals, and ambitions that inspired many from across the globe. In the aftermath of two World Wars, the European Union was founded to restore order among the European countries that bear scars from the wars and unite as one not just economically but politically as well.

I'm not into this but if you want to know how does the European Union works, here's a clip that will sum everything up...



So, now that you understand how the European Union works, let's talk about the trouble with Europe right now and why UK's referendum, due Thursday, matters. Ever since the relentless wars in the Middle East and Africa, Europe had faced a massive string of migrants, which is the largest since the Second World War, and how European nations deal with them is everyone's guess. Some nations like Germany opening up asylum for refugees while some like Hungary trying to restrict them access due to security reasons. To the eyes of EU bureaucrats, dealing with the endless migration of refugees from unstable countries is an endless nightmare that some may think this is the end of it, in fact, this is ONLY the beginning for them. And now, following the attacks on Paris, France, and Brussels, Belgium, looks like the EU is partly to blame the migrants and refugees because some of the terrorists, mostly from the armed terrorist organization ISIS, got mixed up with them, therefore attacks in Europe are extremely likely thanks to them.

Another major problem is the economy and who can remember the infamous "Grexit" from last year? Experts like to blame the Euro currency for everything. Since the late 90's, the establishment of the Euro currency meant to keep the EU member states (well, except for the Danes, Swedes, and Brits for some reason) economically stable as possible but since the aftermath of the world financial crisis in late 2008 (the Lehman shock, of course), economy in EU is becoming stagnant and one of the countries that hit hard is Greece. About last year, Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister who was elected on an anti-austerity platform, urged his citizens to vote against a renegotiated bailout agreement, raising awareness of the nation's possible exit from the eurozone, but a month later, Greece accepted the negotiations from the top European officials on the 86 billion Euro bailout package that will save the nation from impending bankruptcy. The Greeks are safe for now but how long till it last before the Greeks face another financial problem shortly after the imminent Brexit vote?

Europe's rich in culture because of the valuable history it provided in terms of arts and music. With the rise of the Creative Europe programme, the sectors of culture, media, cross-sector, and other forms were covered for those that give life to European culture. One of the biggest contributions to European culture is the European Union Youth Orchestra, which will celebrate its 40th anniversary this year, noteworthy of its talented youth preserving their love of classical music created by Europe's finest in history. Sadly, their 40th anniversary celebration is a nightmare because they're on the verge of disbandment due to financial reasons, resulting to cancellation of their upcoming 40th anniversary events as well. Culture-loving individuals felt saddened to the sudden announcement of EUYO's closure until early this month, European Commision President Jean-Claude Juncker announced the proposals to enable the EU to return to core funding the EUYO. So, is the EUYO saved? In a nutshell, yes, for now, but how long this the longest-running youth orchestra in Europe will last?

Now, onto the Brexit vote and how did the UK triggered such a referendum that decides the fate of the great nation? Some say, the UK had fed up with the EU regulations in terms of economy, politics, national security, and many others, while some believed that the EU leadership has gone over the line and if no other actions were taken, it would be catastrophic for the bloc. Well, this is only a hunch but this is why the UK triggered the referendum. For some who campaigned on the "Remain" side, people including the PM David Cameron feared that the UK will face disastrous results in jobs and livelihood of the Brits. Not only that, it may trigger another referendum on the Scottish independence and if Scotland leaves UK, it may find its way to EU membership. For the "Brexit" side, people like Nigel Farage and former London mayor Boris Johnson, having the UK left the EU means they are free to do whatever they want in terms of economy, healthcare, national security, jobs, livelihood, and others.

Those Brexit spearheaders, looks like they want to do things in Trump's favor because the highly criticized presumptive Republican presidentiable believes that the UK will be more successful when it leaves the EU. Yeah, right. If that case of Brexit triggers, how would Trump and Hillary Clinton comment about this on their US presidential debate on the road to November's presidential elections? We'll never know until the Trump's unleashed his so-called trump card to woo the people to make him the new world leader in the same way how Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte lures the crowd to make him rule the Philippines with an iron fist. Sorry, if I had to say that but if Duterte's going to comment about Brexit, it would mean an added expletive dialogue condemning UK's decision to leave the EU.

The road to the imminent EU referendum became so life-threatening, in fact, there's one that claimed its life and that was none other than the MP named Jo Cox, who was brutally murdered by an assailant for no reason. Cox was one of the key people who campaigned the "Remain" side and following her death, campaigning for both sides have been temporarily halt to pay respects for her. I had high respects for her because despite her short-lived political career, Jo Cox became one of the most influential MPs in Great Britain and I hope everyone who are deciding the fate of UK will be a dying wish for her, no matter the odds.

Since the beginning, there has been no single European country that left the Union, well, Greenland that is due to weakened links to Denmark. As historians asked, Greenland people voted to leave the EU in 1982 and they ceded in 1985, when Greenland gained their official flag. How the UK face the fate just like what happened in Greenland remains unclear and just like what happened, it will take less than three years to have this nation ceded from the union, I believe. However, that's not the end of the story because ahead of the Brexit vote, Switzerland withdraws its 24-year-old application to join the European Union.  That's the first time a candidate nation withdrawn its application from the EU. You should know that despite Switzerland refused to be part of the European Economic Area, of which non-EU members Iceland, Norway, and Lichtenstein, giving them access to the EU single market, it was connected by the Schengen Area, which encompasses most EU states, except for Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania, and the UK.

Ah, the Brexit. Don't they have any idea how much paperwork the world will file into when the UK left the European Union for good? I mean, there are European subsidiaries of major companies that includes UK on it as well as UK's participation in European sports such as the Euro soccer league as well as the annual Six Nations rugby. Would you imagine the outcome what would it be like if UK is out of the EU? Sure, the UK and the EU had differences but it remains one of the most vital part of the EU not just for whatever the heck I mentioned up above but because with the UK, English is part of the EU language apart from German, French, Spanish, Nederlands, Italian, whatever language every European country knows. If UK leaves EU, then you won't be hearing English in EU meetings in Brussels, leaving just a union with nothing else to understand what they're talking about and pretty soon, UK feels as isolated from the world as North Korea. How pitiful for the fate of the once great nation.

For those Brits who are reading this, I know that this is a tough road for the UK if you are deciding whether the English-speaking country should leave or remain in the EU. If you are deciding the fate of the UK in the European Union, I'll leave it up to you all but just promise me that the United Kingdom can survive no matter what. The world depends on it. Whether if you're on the Remain side or Leave, please help save the Great Britain.

God Save Our Queen.

Rule Britannia.

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