Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Is it time to leave Europe?

1 December 2015

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My blogs about Russia vs Turkey (part 1, 2, 3 and 4) have been a reminder to a question that has been on my mind for several years now: Is it time to leave Europe?? For many centuries, Europe has been the main battlefield on Earth. Turkey’s membership of NATO may drive us into another of their centuries old Russo-Turkish wars. Whatever the outcome of a new Russo-Turkish war, it will not be in Europe’s long-term benefit. A status quo would be in our interest.

My original consideration had a very different background: unemployment, healthcare and elderly care. I expect that the ongoing increase in the cost of labour, the low birth rates, and the resulting increase in the average age of the population (“greying”) will cause an unpleasant squeeze in especially areas as elderly care and healthcare. Today the situation is already far from what people deserve. And this will only get worse. Since a few years a new consideration has come up: the failure of project Europe (eg, Greece, influx of refugees).

Recently, my daily Politico newsletter referred to this same question in a blog post by Dave Keating, an American journalist formerly based in Brussels and now in Berlin. His solution – back to the USA – would not be mine as the USA is far more dangerous than any other civilised country in the world. Moreover, it’s political deadlock is even worse than the one in the EU. Essentially, the USA is only a good place to live when you are healthy, rich and white.

Nevertheless, his question has also been on my mind for quite some time: is it time to leave Europe??

There is only a limited number of alternatives: Africa, Americas, Asia, Australia, and Middle East. My basic criteria include: attitude, climate, distance, healthcare, language, religion, safety, and social stability. Hence, the choice already gets complicated. Each alternative for Europe doesn’t look too appealing given my criteria. If I would remove distance then Australia, Canada and New Zealand are some interesting alternatives. The USA would not make my shortlist as it is deficient on attitude, healthcare, safety, and social stability.

Since my accidental visit to Kenya, this country had been on my wish list as my retirement paradise. After only 2 visits in 2012, I was diagnosed with skin cancer in 2013. A skin biopsy revealed that it was of an “innocent” nature. After a year, I was considered cured and my medical file was closed. The scars on my back remain as a warning. My white skin is too sensitive for the African ultraviolet sunlight. Developing a black skin would take another lucky gene mutation and a few thousand years.

Dave Keating: “Europe is now facing a perfect storm of crises which it seems incapable of handling. Having barely weathered the storm of the euro crisis over the past six years, we’re now bombarded with problems on all sides. The migration crisis. The terrorism crisis. The Brexit crisis. The Ukraine crisis. And most worryingly, the Syria crisis, which after this week’s downing of a Russian plane by Turkey seems more likely than ever to propel us into a global geopolitical conflict the likes of which we haven’t seen for 70 years”. (Dave’s blog)

Despite all its present flaws, Europe is my home.

Europe – The Final Countdown (1986) – artists, lyrics, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

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