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Is There Somewhere You Can Hide?

Update on home values across Europe

We have an interesting situation forming across Europe. For some considerable time I have been saying this is deliberately created by politicians. Whether that is due to the fact that they are brain-dead, or due to some campaign to screw the population is another matter. I tend towards the view that they are simply stupid.

There are a few obvious clues to the current state of Europe. First letís look at the war problem.

The main media talks about a Russian invasion of Ukraine, and sees the combatants as Ukrainians versus Russians. However, hasnít anyone noticed that the combatants are the Russians aiding Dombas against Kiev, which is not the same thing at all. The argument is about Donbas wanting to succede from Ukraine, and form an independent state like Crimea. Kiev has been bombing Donbas to force them into submission for the past eight years. The Minsk International Agreement required Kiev to stop the bombing and start talks. That didnít happen, hence the escalation.

There are only two sides to support, Donbas or Kiev. Russia chose Donbas. If you support Kiev, that means you want the Donbas to put up with a regime they hate. Now why should you want to do that?

It so happens that I dont care. It doesnít affect me. I suspect it doesnít affect you either, but I have to say I rather approve of small states pushing for their independence, but what is more important is the suicide tactics of Western European politicians. Why are they supporting Kiev? What has Kiev got to offer Western Europe? Rather a lot of grain. Okay, got it. But was Donbas going to interfere with that? Not to my knowledge.

The only problem there is: if you are for Kiev, you are against Russia. What has Russia got? A hell of a lot of energy, fertilisers and other agricultural essentials, which Europe cant live without.

The sensible argument now comes down to what is the more important? A quick glance at the news spells that out in capital letters. Europe is about to go dark and hungry. Recession is with us with a vengeance. To say itís coming is simply absurd. Itís here. What is coming is that the recession is going to get worse, a lot worse.

Germany is losing 40% of its energy right now. For Germans winter is coming early this year. Italy has a similar problem, and to a lesser extent most of Europe has the same problem.

Some countries have a worse problem with their agricultural supplies and industries. The UK imports approximately 80% of its agricultural requirements. Thatís an insane level. If there is another all-out war the UK would within weeks be starved into submission.

Under such conditions would a war with Russia (where most of the agricultural supplies come from) be a good idea? Apparently, lunatics like Boris dont seem to think thatís a problem.

ďWhat are we going to do?Ē wail EU politicians. I would have thought the answer was simple. Stop screaming at Russia and use some sense. Sadly, that presumably needs to be imported from somewhere else as well.

You dont need me to point out that with inflation on the up with a vengeance, interest rates rising (another 0.5% in the UK this week), wages stagnating, and industry going into a recession, house prices wont be going up any time soon across most of Europe. A cold winter wont help matters either.

But this does leave us with a few anomalies.

In the modern inter-connected world, getting away from it all is pretty difficult. I live in Portugal as most of you know. That means I put up with a largely dysfunctional country. Trying to get things done here is a nightmare. We are also in the midst of a severe drought, and yet people are still watering lawns, and golf courses. The local car wash is doing a roaring trade. There are no bans in sight, except, strangely, for people watering their fruit trees and vegetable plots. Work that one out. A small truck-farming unit less than a kilometre from me is reduced to waste land because the owner cant get access to water while the car wash down the road keeps functioning. Thatís Portugal, where clean cars are more important than food.

But Portugal is hardly dependent upon foreign energy. In any case, there is very little industry in the country. Weíre less dependent upon foreign food imports as well. And although we suffer from high summer temperatures, we do not have a winter cold problem here in the south.

Where is this leading me?

The above points have not been missed by those who can be mobile. There is a continuing movement of people from the north of the continent to the South, and that is keeping the housing market here in a lively condition.

Life might be a lot better way down south. Itís gonna cost you nowadays of course, but if you can put up with the day to day disfunctionality of the place, it is reasonably pleasant, and I think we might survive this mess a lot better than those of you a lot further north. Maybe I should do a Portugal issue of properties for the members.

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