Why the Sleepwalkers Still Sleep

On May 25th it was celebrated in Europe the European elections to the European Parliament. And, in each country of the European Union the different democratic parties started months ago a frenetic campaign to try to get a privileged chair.

Actually, this campaigns are over and it is curious how Europe it is moving in their politics towards the conservatism and to other kind of ways of thinking more closest to that ones which originated in the past the two Great Wars and which are qualified as extremist.

Europe is living in most of the countries a situation of extreme inequality. Not only the unemployment rates of some countries are beating records. To this situation, we must add the massive arrival of illegal immigrants from Africa and the quantity of children which cannot receive any meal at day if it does not for the help of social services.

However, in front of that perspective it was strange to hear this past days the candidatures and proposals to any political party. To be honest, some citizens, and myself included, are still waiting discourses that will promise that no kid will be hungry or any kind of social measure that will help to all this people in disadvantage conditions. In fact, most of the arguments that a lot of political parties had they were simply criticize the other. They tried to ridicule the other, to show to the citizens what the other political party had done wrong… but it has been very hard to try to find a political party which really exposed which will be their intentions to change Europe if they will have a chair because they have let perfectly clean that the only that they want it is a chair in that parliament, but most citizens still without having clear why they want to sit there.

“Europe is living in most of the countries a situation of extreme inequality.”

Of course, the wages and all kind of salary benefits that the European Parliament offers are very attractive to everybody although it is a bit useless to keep paying to someone who does not give any ideas to change the actual problems, who does not seem motivated and actively involved in make of their ideas a new reality… Maybe, this have been one of the innumerable reasons of why this year in European Elections most of the citizens have preferred to stay at home or to go to the beach to enjoy the good weather than to go to vote because vote to somebody who does not offer a solid argument or proposal it is like vote to nothing.

One year ago, it was published by The Economist an article called The Sleepwalkers: a text which made reference to our European Politicians which seem sleep in front of all this social and economic crisis and whom keep walking towards a precipice. In a year, nothing has changed and not only the prime ministers of each country are sleeping, most of the candidates to the European Parliament too.

Most of the countries of the old continent are based in a social system in which each citizen not only pays their taxations they, in fact, thanks to have a job can  have the benefit to have free medical assistance or to have a pension the day after tomorrow. They have this rights because the companies to the ones european people works pay part of the salary to the government to make that later you can have that social benefits. That benefits not only include you as a subject they also include your partner (if you are married) and your children. And one of the biggest problems it is that nobody is creating jobs and most governments are not making things easy to let that this things happen.

The case of Spain, for example, it is terrific. Most of the jobs are actual underpaid or illegal, this means not paying this social benefits, and it means that the unique solution that the people has it is immigrate to another European country. In the mass media of this country they only feed this idea: “Go out. Germany is the salvation. England is the salvation.” And, of course, England and Germany answer that they cannot save everybody. The closest solution to this problem that some politics have found it is something that they called MiniJobs which are a type of jobs in which it is legal to do not paid to the government that social benefits of medical assistance and pensions that, in theory, you have the right to have in a future or when you need it. With the MiniJobs you only work a few hours at day and if you receive the enough cash to pay a rent you can be considerate one of the luckiest young europeans on Earth.

The point of all this explanation about the system is that if you, as a State, have created a huge saving deposit which it is receiving money to every worker to later give it back to that worker… What is going to happen with that bank deposit when most of the population is not working or is working but with the right to do not pay to that deposit? It happens that this savings finish and with them all kind of social benefits. And this is what it is currently happen in most countries of Europe.

Other solution to this problem it is try to cheer people to open their own companies. Motivate them to create them their own job and to do not have to depend of anybody who hire them. The idea is great but going back to the spanish case there is a huge problem. To start, open any company in Spain it is not simple. It requires a lot of paperwork and bureaucracy which can delay the procedure more than a month and only for open it you are going to pay to the State at least 3.000 euros. As you can see, this is starting wrong because not everybody has 3.000 to simply open the company however, the disbursement of money do not finish on there.

If you are working on your own or you are the owner of the company you must pay to the Social Security 275 euros each month to have the future Social benefits. Then, you must pay a similar quantity for each worker that you have hired. If you do not do it you are infringing the laws and of course that could have consequences. This payment to the Social Security it is, in theory, for what I have mentioned before: medical assistance and a future pension but, in most cases, the entrepreneur it is obliged to hire a “mutua” which it is a private company who offers private medical services. If you do that prepare to pay to this private company around 300 monthly euros more just for have a duplicate service. However, you cannot escape for this legal tramp depending of the sector in which it is classified your company.

Do not believe that the payments to the State have finished here. Each three months you have two different taxes to pay as a company. Taxes that are a 21% even if you do not have any benefit in your company. This means, more bureaucracy, more papers and in most cases pay again to the authorized private companies that are the only ones who have the right to fix that papers and present them in your name to the government. You cannot do it by your own even if you know how to fill all that documents and formularies you are always obligated to hire other.

So, if we make quick numbers and avoiding all the private services that in most cases the entrepreneur it is obligated to hire. Have a company without any benefit could cost you around 6.000 euros at year. Do the spanish government really believe that a lot of young people it is going to be brave enough to assume that costs and sacrifices? This is claiming a reform in the laws so loud that it is weird that nobody has screamed around the world about it before. And this, it is only one of the innumerable examples of things that the politicians in Europe seems to do not see.

Meanwhile the primer ministers and all the politics still sleep without find a solution to keep alive that “savings”, the piggy bank is getting empty.

Most actual governments seem only worried in try to hide the loving affairs of the Prime Minister… others think that their country it is a brand and they are trying to sell it internationally as a quality thing but it is absurd to try to sell a country if in your mass media you are telling to your citizens to go outside of your country. All the money that you are investing in marketing to clear the good image of your brand you are destroying it with each unsatisfied citizen who had to immigrate outside.

And here it starts again the eternal loop in which Europe is trapped and in which nobody seems to wake up. Because each one of this social problems are all chained ones to others and it seems that nobody knows how to fix each one of the broken steels to make the fetters stronger again and to do not let that everything escape.

Maybe Europe it is simply like that old tale in which a beauty princess fall eternally sleep for the curse of a witch and who is waiting to the handsome prince to kiss her and wakes her up. However, it is not only important to remember that in the tale, meanwhile that princess was sleeping the whole kingdom experimented a phase of very dark times for a very long time. Let’s hope that this time nobody keep deep asleep so many years as in the children european tales from the past.


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2 thoughts on “Why the Sleepwalkers Still Sleep

  1. I think the system is collapsing. I don’t know your take, and no offence intended, but I think capitalism is such an evil philosophy that its failure should have been portended at its inception. It promotes greed and all the attendant vices. I came across an argument that capitalism appeals to the connate instincts of man, our natural inclinations, of which greed is foremost. But so do other evil endeavours which are severely discouraged by the same society. In all literature, greed is a vice. Here, in real life, it is publicly promoted. Now the whole world is in a few hands, and the system is going down. Billions suffer in deplorable misery. No salvation. I have American friends, and some of them can tell you what is going on over there. Same as what you have written here. Perhaps worse. It’d be ridiculous if Europe abandoned its failing capitalism and took up practices against which it once waged relentless and unprovoked barbaric wars while comfortable in the outrageous notion of civilizing the savages. Lately, across the web, I’ve come across ideas that were held by Africans and other ‘primitive’ cultures centuries and millennia ago, before the European diabolic interference. I wonder what should be attractive about them now. Are they more human? It is absurd. This retrogression. It will render Western civilization such a fiasco–after its own centuries of unending destruction and death. Lastly, forcing everybody to fit into the same view of life is a terrible thing and presages failure. Same system, same politics, same names, same schools, same lifestyle, same same same!! What did anybody think they were doing? When the system collapses, it does so the world over and nobody is standing to rescue the sinking and the dying! The whole world is on the brink as we speak. Socially, economically, academically, etc. And I don’t know who can help it. Perhaps there should be World War III so that a new system begins. I think this is what America and its alleys have realized and are beginning to do. After the war, when the world is in ruins, everybody hurt and bleeding and dead or dying, a new system can then be established. Always in the pretext of preventing a similar war. But no. Human nature will never allow us to know peace. We think we are in control. We are controlled.

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