Civil riots worry Norway PM / News / The Foreigner

Civil riots worry Norway PM. Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg says he is concerned Europe’s current debt crisis could unleash social unrest unless a solution is found. This could create a situation not seen since the 1930s. Although conditions, certainly in Norway, are very different to then, he says, “many, particularly young unemployed people are about to lose hope in the future. It would be wrong to make a comparison with the ‘30s, but there are some common traits.” “If no solution is found, we’ll be witnessing TV pictures like those from the Athens and London riots more often,” he tells VG.

jensstoltenberg, silvioberlusconi, eurocrisis, giorgospapandreou



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Civil riots worry Norway PM

Published on Friday, 4th November, 2011 at 20:38 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 4th November 2011 at 23:53.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg says he is concerned Europe’s current debt crisis could unleash social unrest unless a solution is found. This could create a situation not seen since the 1930s.

PM Jens Stoltenberg
PM Jens Stoltenberg
Photo: The Labour Party/Flickr


Mistrust

Although conditions, certainly in Norway, are very different to then, he says, “many, particularly young unemployed people are about to lose hope in the future. It would be wrong to make a comparison with the ‘30s, but there are some common traits.”

“If no solution is found, we’ll be witnessing TV pictures like those from the Athens and London riots more often,” he tells VG.

Talking of the danger that extremist groups of today could fortify their position, the Prime Minister continues, “I don’t wish to draw direct parallels with pre-WWII Europe, but it’s obvious the situation is serious. Anger, frustration, and aggression occur amongst young people following longer-term unemployment, which could lead to social unrest, and riots.

“We’re dealing with powerful, negative forces here that could undermine the European welfare model.”

Amongst continuing worries over the future of the euro, come reports Europe’s fate could lie, ironically enough, in the hands of Silvio Berlusconi and Giorgos Papandreou.

"Italy holds the key to the eurozone debt crisis. Developments in Italy are a crucial test for the credibility of the anti-crisis framework set up by the EU," BNP Paribas analyst Luigi Speranza wrote late yesterday in a research note.

Nevertheless, amongst no G20 agreement today on IMF aid for Europe, IMF inspectors have been sent to Italy to try to ensure the country adopts measures to deal with its sky-high debts.

“This is obviously a sign that they do not trust him [Berlusconi]. He promises things such as the retirement age [should rise above 65]. It is not good enough. He is doing too little and doing things too slowly,” economics professor Karen Helene Ulltveit-Moe tells Aftenposten.

Likening Italy’s problems to those of Greece, she says, “When Italy is now getting attention, it is a recognition that things are not as they should be.”

According to Deutsche Welle, EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has told reporters following today’s failed G20 meeting that, "Italy has decided on its own to ask the IMF to monitor the implementation."

Norwegian problem

Trust in Greek Prime Minister Giorgos Papandreou is also at an all-time low.

“The Opposition in Greece has no confidence in him, nobody believes in him. Nobody will sit with him in a Coalition government, meaning he’ll never lead one,” Panos Dimas, professor of philosophy at the Norwegian Institute in Athens, tells NRK.

“Papandreou has problems, also abroad, where it seems that most people are skeptical of his ability to clean the mess up,” he continues, saying he believes the present government will not survive.

Meanwhile, several leading Norwegian Economists express strong concern a crisis in the EU could hit Norway badly.

“Unfortunately, the possible scenario is that this autumn will see a dramatic, serious economic crisisin Europe. Moreover, those who think it will take a long time before the crisis spreads to Norway are simply wrong. It can happen before Christmas; it will affect us immediately and hit hard,” Handelsbanken’s chief economist, Knut Anton Mork, tells VG.

Fearing that the effects will be worse than the US-spawned crisis in 2008, “when the state had to use its their financial muscles to rescue several Norwegian banks”, he continues, “the problems are now much closer to us and our banks here in Europe.”

Other economists are even more pessimistic.

“Many European banks will not get their money the day Greece does not pay its debts. I believe interest rates on Spanish and Italian bonds will skyrocket and trigger a crisis that will affect Norway overnight,” says Petter Eilif de Lange, chief economist at Sparebank 1 SMN.

Whilst Fokus Bank’s chief economist, Frank Jullum, believes this will cost Norwegian households more, with some not getting a mortgage, Finance Minister Sigbjørn Johnsen says he is following events closely.

“We are on high alert, yes. We have shown previously that we can act quickly, and will do the same this time if necessary.”

Following heavy pressure from European leaders, the Greek government scrapped the threatened referendum on the bailout package. The news lifted Oslo Stock Exchange’s Benchmark Index 0.4 percent earlier today, but it was only temporary. OSEBX closed, Friday, at 382.84 points, down 0.51 percent.



Published on Friday, 4th November, 2011 at 20:38 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 4th November 2011 at 23:53.

This post has the following tags: jensstoltenberg, silvioberlusconi, eurocrisis, giorgospapandreou.





  
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