Some time ago a friend of mine who is a Russian journalist, asked me if I could give his news agency an interview about the presidential elections in Poland. I refused saying not my circus, not my monkeys. In my view, it does not really matter who governs in Poland because the Polish ruling class is living in a parallel reality to mine I do not have access to and I can only guess what they mean by the phrase Political Success.
In other words, elections in Poland are to me like a choice between Barack Obama and George Bush. Do you prefer to be bombed by a drone or by a plane? But instead of a long analysis, I will use figures to give a colleague from Moscow some insight into the economic and political situation in Poland.
The Golden Period of Baltic Countries
You have to be blind not to see that we are living in a golden period for Poland – the president Bronislaw Komorowski shouted at the beginning of March during his election convention.
Outside Poland there are currently about 3 million Polish citizens who left Poland mostly because of lack of work, money or better prospects for the future. This year the number of those deciding to live in exile may be record-breaking. Up to 1,275 million people intend to leave Poland. The total number of emigrants exceeds by some estimates – 4 million people.
According to the official data, in 2014 6,165 Polish people committed suicide, and suicide has become the 7th cause of death in Poland. This was the record result since 1999. Last year there was also a record in terms of the number of people who disappeared without a trace. The government was successful also due to the fact that millions of Poles were forced to work in the black economy. This number was indicated in the report entitled “Balance of human capital” prepared by Konrad Turk from the Jagiellonian University.
In Poland, there is a growing number of illegally employed immigrants from Ukraine. These illegally employed Ukrainians are often underestimated or underpaid by Polish employers.
Having quoted these few trivial facts, we already know at least how the Polish rulers define the word Success. According to this definition, the golden period and success for the Polish political elite stands for the greatest time in the history of Polish emigration, years of sacrifice and ongoing austerity caused by the regular raising of taxes and other public charges, which indirectly contributes to the largest-ever amount of committed suicides.
With this definition of success and a golden period, it will be easy for us to understand what is going on in other neighboring countries where the golden period has only just begun, waiting for their prosperity.
Indeed, the European Commission published a 400-page report on the demographic situation in Europe. According to the document, by 2060 Lithuania and Latvia will be the leaders in the EU in terms of population extinction. However ,there may be bad news for the Polish ruling class because we will be left behind when it comes to this indicator.
In Lithuania, the number of population will decrease by 38% down to 1,8 million people, in Latvia by about a third to 1,4 million people, Estonia will lose 200 thousand and will barely be able to keep the population size of one million.
In the past 25 years after gaining independence, in all three Baltic countries the population decline is happening as a result of both the death rates continuously exceeding birth rates and because of immigration. For example, Latvia lost almost 25 percent of its population. The trend is that in the next 15 or 20 years, the population will decrease by another 15-20%. On the basis of these figures, it can be concluded that the only benefit that the residents of the Baltic countries have found in the European Union, is the possibility of leaving their country and thus reducing its population.
As for Poland, it is only the transshipment point. Indeed, even the inhabitants of the poorest countries in the world do not want to settle down permanently in Poland, which should satisfy Polish politicians. It could contribute to an increase in the population of Poland and then the mortality rate in Poland would be much behind the death rate in Latvia and Estonia.
However fortunately for the government ,Poles from year to year will wane, and in 45 years’ time there will be only 33 million people living in Poland. According to the report of the Commission on demography of Europe in 2060 the percentage of the working-age population will decrease in our country by 16,4 %, but at the same time the percentage of people over 65 years of age will increase by 18,5 %.
According to the Work Service report, among the people leaving Poland dominated the representatives of the most crucial for the development of the state occupational groups: engineers, doctors, nurses, traders, all those without whom it is impossible to build the properly functioning state, the lack of which in turn bodes well for the improvement of our place in the ranking of mortality and a chance to win in this competition with other Baltic countries.
According to the UN document containing demographic forecasts for the world for the year 2050, in ten post-communist countries altogether, the population will decrease by approximately 50 million people, and by the end of the twenty-first century, another 50 million. According to demographers, the last time a similar demographic crisis took place was in the fourteenth century when the plague wiped out nearly half of the population of our continent.
The Golden Period of Europe
It seems that the golden period and the success of the Baltic countries will also move to the rest of Europe in which the nearly drown refugees from Africa and the Middle East see their paradise on earth.
In 2050, the population of our continent will reach only 5% of the world population, but it will be the population of the old and unable to compete. Judging by the pace of development, Europe already adapts to this demographic scenario. Not only does Europe fail to keep pace with the development of the modern world, but what is more the current debt crisis clearly degrades and marginalizes its position in the world ranking.
The golden period, sorry I mean “the Arab Spring”, began in North Africa and the Middle East some time ago. A series of upheavals spread throughout Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen. In Libya, Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and executed in public. The country’s economy and infrastructure was destroyed. In Syria, where they failed to take power, the war continues. No wonder then that a number of people in these countries is bored with the golden period and continuous success and wanted to transfer to another continent.
The analyst and thinker Greg Mannarino of Traders Choice Accurately describes this issues.
It’s created a population boom… a population boom has risen in tandem with the debt. It’s incredible.
So, when the debt bubble bursts we’re going to get a correction in population. It’s a mathematical certainty.
Millions upon millions of people are going to die on a world-wide scale when the debt bubble bursts. And I’m saying when not if…
When resources become more and more scarce we’re going to see countries at war with each other. People will be scrambling… in a worst case scenario… doing everything that they can to survive… to provide for their family and for themselves.
There’s no way out of it.
It seems that if Mannarino’s prophecy is fulfilled, we will enter into something more than just the golden period. There have never been a situation where there is no basis for employment, whereas a base for the explosion of prices is created by reprinting currency very quickly when the demand for it falls. How then, will this new period be called? – at this point it is hard to say yet, but for me as a man outside the establishment it is more appropriate to call it the black period.
At the moment it is quite ok in the periphery countries of the European Union. The standard of living is twice as lower as in other European countries, the migration of the population, as expected, is still high, and only social stratification is becoming more and more noticeable. During the first five years after joining the European Union, the population of Latvia in a situation of extreme poverty increased 1,5 times.
If the European Union has to face a new wave of the crisis and the burst of bank debt that I mentioned, it is highly possible that social tensions will explode.
In the context of such large oncoming changes in Europe, the migration of people from Africa and the Middle East to Europe might not be such a good idea, but still better than just being quickly killed by the ISIS militants.
Konrad Stachnio is an independent Poland based journalist, he hosted a number of radio and TV programs for the Polish edition of Prison Planet, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.