Germany's ascendancy over Europe will prove short-lived

Germany has peaked. Its hegemony in Europe is a “power illusion”, a confluence of fleeting advantages soon to be overwhelmed by the delayed effect of error and the crush of historic forces.

If demography is destiny, it may be clear within five years that ageing Germany is going the way of Japan. Within 20 years it may equally be clear France and Britain are regaining their 19th century role as the two dominant powers of Europe, albeit a diminished prize.

Otsuka Duojinshi: " 'He accuses his nation of turning flabby, obsessed with “welfare benefits, female quotas, the minimum wage and 'no’ to shale fracking'." Oh,  you mean like the France and Britain of 10 years ago?  Did the census takers find anyone 'returning home' from the UK or France? Will those population increases in the French & British polity create Pariskistan and Londonistan? Oh wait, they already have. I'm not so sure that the 21st century Anglo-Saxon caliphate will be all that attractive to reside in.

s-i-a: "The European Commission’s 2012 Ageing Report says Germany’s population will shrink from 82m to 66m over the next half century due to social structures that cause low fertility, while France jumps to 74m and Britain to 79m" So, Britain will have a population of 79m and Germany will have a population of 66m and therefore Britain will be better off than Germany. I don't understand your logic at all. You seem to be confusing population density with wealth.

rory1: Rejoice in the discovery that the leaders of the United Kingdom will be able to stroll the world's stage, beat their chests and declare, truthfully, that Britain is the Bangladesh of the North Atlantic.

whitehart: We will be Kings when all that foreign aid is repaid with interest! Ha Ha!!

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robnorthlondon : its Burmese I think

aburridoentrabajo: Indeed. It was the wiping out of large chunks of Europe's population by the Black Death that left the survivors resource-rich and able to turn their minds to something other than scraping a living off the land. The rest is history.

FatherOctavian: With the caveat that the Black Death left a surviving population that was younger and more stout than the larger pre-Plague population. The people that would be a drag on the economy -- the old and the infirm -- would likely have made up a disproportionate share of the death toll. Not to mention that the average life expectancy at the time was about 30, rising to about 64 if you survived childhood. So the drag of a graying population simply wasn't an issue. And while the graying generations of the UK are more wealthy than the generations that are following them, over time the vast majority will still be claiming more in benefits than they're contributing to the economy. So a graying population is a negative, even if the young immigrant population that's replacing it isn't the economic engine one would like to have.

pp22pp: Not entirely true. The Black Death returned repeatedly and overwhelmingly killed those born after the previous epidemic.

roseman: Exactly we will descend into violence and civil war. Germany will prosper. They take a long term view produce superbe products and look after their own.

Cornelius Höcher: A growing popluation is not automatically a positive thing.  I don't think the french demographic development is very healthy either. Southern France looks like North Africa already in these days. How will it look like in 30 years?… The real problem is not a shrinking population. The composition is the problem. At least the Japanese are smarter than the Europeans…

robertbrowne: France,  choose three things.  A liberal abortion regime, allowing women to be forced out to work as the norm so that houses could be doubled in price and the banking fraternity could make more money. In western society we have propounding the idea that women can have it all, career, family, lifestyle. However ultimately, choosing these options means you loose your country. Lifestyle often implies that you can round around behaving like a liberated, carefree teenager until you are into your early forties and that then you should try to have a child. When too many people try this experiment in social engineering it leads to an  imploding demographic. Other people living in country X,Y,Z quickly figure out that the subject country is not even producing enough children to renew their population. Result, they send their surplus from Africa, and beyond to take up the slack. We know the result. Pretty soon, they will be the minority in their own countries with only themselves to blame.  Too much liberty too much equality not enough fraternity and not enough maternity.

rory1: One does hear from sources that one of the cherished aspirations of Islamic fundamentalists is to restore the caliphate of Al Andalus to its northenmost points of the Marca Hispanica in the Picos de Europa. As if Spain and France needed more headaches!

ooopiop: Small point.  France's population increase will be the result of Muslim and immigrant birthrates -as in  the UK.  Germany should not be too concerned at these exploding populations which are only  a burden on their host nations and a source of future discord.

bill40: ooo… I know you're not the sharpest knife in the block and I'm not particularly keen on Islam as a religion either. I must however point out that those elites you love so much say it is a good thing. Just thought I'd point that out. PS UKIP won't do anything about it either.

dandaniels: knives sharp block, kettle pot black etc Quote of the day "UKIP wont do anything about it either" Explain to all UKIP voters why a defender of liblabcon thinks  UKIP will not act against Islam? We're all waiting to listen to your garbage. You got all of 6+ votes too which is impressive

Nelson: Personally, I'd rather be born in the Faroe Islands or Iceland today than Britain with it's exponential increase in population. The Britain I once new with its decent society and secure living space has all but gone.

bill40: dan, First off I'm not a defender of liblabcon or SWP/BNP or any other political party or alliance. Now, what the hell can UKIP or any other entity do to "act against Islam"? Like or loath it, it is a widely followed religion and passing laws against it specifically would be to surrender our freedom too. There are Already laws to deal with terrorism which is what I assume you are against rather than a religion. So I ask again what could UKIP do? I don't want to be any part of your paranoid world.

dandaniels: That's the point, UKIP will immediately remove the UK from the disaster that is the EU. This means we will recover full sovereign rights. Based on a democratic vote we can then discuss the fate of extremist religions as we see fit without fear of human rights being thrown at us. Who's that guy we're trying to deport but can't under the protection of human rights? UKIP will be the first step on the road to locking down our borders and making it very uncomfortable for Islamist extremists to operate. Islamist supporters and sympathizers no matter what their nationality could also be targeted once the protection of political correctness is lifted. Non native Islamist threats will be deported immediately. Home grown British nationals will also be targeted and heavily acted upon in a manner which protects the national interests of the democratic majority. UKIP are the most likely party to do something about our growing problems with immigration therefore I stand with UKIP from here on in.

bill40: Dan, I'd like to be rid of the EU but there is no way we'll ever leave ECHR and neither would I want to. We wrote the damn thing after all. Once they come for the Islamacists how else would such powers be abused and against whom? terrorists are already targeted heavily for goodness sake. Two truisms apply here; tough cases make bad law and he who would sacrifice his freedom…

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