04.10.2022 Author: Vladimir Odintsov

Where will Europe have to move its industrial production?

proizvodstvo

The vulnerability of the world, especially Europe, to importing fossil fuels from abroad was already shown by the oil crisis of the 1970s. Europe began to gradually cope with it only a decade later. In a way, the winning move at that time was to actively build nuclear power plants in order to produce high-tech energy themselves.

Given the disastrous effects of the 1970s energy crisis on European economies dependent on energy imports, it is not surprising that the United States chose this very direction to break up its main foreign policy and economic rival, Europe. And no one doubts both this and the man-made nature of the current economic crisis raging in Europe, especially no one in Europe. As a result, the fanatical crusade against Moscow by EU bureaucrats, closely allied to the US and directed from Washington, is resulting in the collective impoverishment, economic suicide and degradation of Europe.

However, as a result of Washington-inspired energy provocations and restrictions on Russian energy supplies to the European market, America could also face a gas crisis of its own, The Wall Street Journal reported. Stock levels are now lower than usual and winter could see price spikes. As a result, the United States’ vigorously proclaimed friendship with Europe will not survive the winter cold.

Describing the current misery in Europe, the Belgian MEP Tom Vandendriessche points out that the average annual energy bill for Flemish families is now 9,000 euros, record inflation is destroying savings and the purchasing power of the population. The average annual heating and electricity bill now exceeds the monthly wages of low-paid workers in most EU countries, as reported by the European Trade Union Confederation. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg, as the consequences of the energy crisis are much more severe. Production is stopping everywhere, unemployment is rising, industry is leaving Europe and will probably never return.

The European steel industry, the backbone of industrial production for most commodities, has been threatened by the energy crisis. High energy prices have made the industry particularly expensive and uncompetitive, and factories have announced complete or partial shutdowns. Sharp fluctuations in energy prices and persistent problems in supply chains threaten to usher in an era of European de-industrialization. Faced with exorbitant natural gas prices, other energy-dependent industries in Europe, which serve as the main economic activity, such as the chemical, automotive, cement and many other industries, are facing similar problems. In this very difficult and so far desperate situation, European industrialists are actively exploring options for relocating their production elsewhere. And in this respect, they are primarily attracted to countries with no dependence on energy imports, more stable energy prices and strong government support.

In order to lure European industries and thereby further deplete the European Union (which was Washington’s objective when it initiated the energy crisis in Europe), it is the United States that has recently become increasingly active in luring European industries into its territory. After all, this not only promises to increase the tax revenue in the US budget system, crisis-ridden and running a multibillion-dollar deficit, but also to create thousands of new jobs in the United States, and hence resolve internal social tensions.

And now, according to The Wall Street Journal, Ahmed El-Hoshy, chief executive of Amsterdam-based chemical firm OCI NV, has already announced in September the “expansion of the plant” to produce ammonia in Texas. Danish jewelry company Pandora and German carmaker Volkswagen have also announced “expansions” in the United States, while Tesla is pausing its plans to produce batteries in Germany and expand it in the US itself, using the Inflation Reduction Act signed into law by President Biden in August. Many other European industrialists from various EU countries have similar intentions.

Analysts and investors argue that Europe remains a welcome companion to advanced manufacturing technologies and can boast a skilled workforce. Therefore, it is not only the US that is interested in relocating European production to its territory. In particular, there is already interest from energy-rich countries in the Middle East, as well as Asia, Africa and Latin America, which still have cheap labor.

The southern CIS states, especially those in the Transcaucasus and Central Asia, are also counting on this “relocation” of European production, which has initiated in recent weeks their desire to “move away” from Russia in order to avoid European sanctions and become more attractive to the economic “re-distribution” of EU production to the outside world.

With the US itself admitting that American shale producers will not be able to save Europe in the coming years and that the US will face the same energy nightmare as Europe, the EU’s economic and energy collapse will clearly be protracted and the problem of European de-industrialization is becoming more pronounced, according to Bloomberg estimates.

Britain, which had learned in advance about secret US plans to break up the European Union, has already left the EU. A number of countries in the European community are also thinking of following suit to secure themselves from the dictates of overtly pro-American European officials like Ursula von der Leyen, Josep Borrell, Charles Michel, who only care about their personal gains and US hegemony, neglecting Europe’s own interests. At the same time, in the impending de-industrialization of Europe and the transfer of many industries out of the EU, many European officials and the current European political elite clearly see for themselves a way to preserve their own elite position. The inevitable retribution for their blatant anti-European activities on the part of the growing resentment of the masses could diminish as a result. In particular, through a forced exodus of the current anti-government forces to other countries, following the “transfer” of European industrial capacity. Hence the continuation and further escalation by these pro-American European officials of a policy of anti-Russian sanctions, which only worsen the situation in Europe itself. And this despite the fact that, according to numerous analysts, experts and even MEPs, it is in strengthening cooperation with Russia, rather than following Washington’s provocative and destructive plans, that Europe is now most likely to emerge from the economic and energy crisis that has engulfed it.

Vladimir Odintsov, political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.


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