The European Union has been going through inflation much like the US and most other countries across the globe. Germany, in particular, has been incredibly hard hit over the last year, with food prices spiking by 40%. Potatoes have been hit even harder, with the price skyrocketing by 70% within just the last 12 months.
Much like the US, most of Germany has barely been able to tread water with these pricing surges, especially as the energy sector has been incredibly impacted due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Without Russian oil or Ukrainian natural gas, much of Europe has been suffering in every industry. While the US and other nations have been reallocating resources much to their own suffering to share the burden, it’s not enough as the prices continue to climb.
As the prices climb so does the concern of riots and civil unrest as people are suddenly unable to heat their homes, keep their small businesses open, or even keep food in their pantries.
The meat industry, which is heavily impacted by the changes in the costs of grain and energy resources, is up 50% in the last year. Combined, many supermarkets are unable to even stock their shelves because people cannot afford the prices many markets are forced to charge. These empty shelves are leading to fierce arguments between different levels of suppliers and the markets as well as consumers and market managers.
These arguments aren’t falling on deaf ears, either. Famers aren’t happy being forced to charge people these kinds of premiums, and it’s not an ideal situation for them. If anything, they want to lower the costs they are being forced to pass along to the consumer. Ideally, they won’t be forced to sit on inventory, but if nobody can afford it, then they are stuck in place as they cannot take a loss on their products.
With 3,000 people expected to begin protesting in Berlin on November 19th, there is incredible concern that these protestors will turn violent much like they did in Canada during the COVID trucker strike, or during the BLM protests here in the US. While Germany is known for their tolerance during such periods, many remember the stories of WWII and German authorities are concerned about being painted as trying to resurrect those times once again.
Other protests have been ongoing across the country, but none of them have been as built up and organized as the one planned on the 19th. These protests aren’t solely focused on the ongoing crisis of the cost of living, but also on remaining COVID lockdown regulations. Despite the strong medical knowledge and training in Germany, the country is ill-informed about the realities of COVID, and still strongly subscribes to the same leftist policies Democrats have tried to push here.
Back in August, one state official tasked with protecting Germany’s democratic constitution issued remarks about the situation that should raise the hair on the back of any American’s neck.
“After the pandemic and the world events of the last few months, we are dealing with a highly emotional, aggressive, pessimistic mood among the population, whose trust in the state, its institutions, and political actors is at least in some parts afflicted with massive doubts. In this respect, we are likely to be confronted with mass protests and riots.”
He went on to explain that what the country had “experienced so far in the corona pandemic in the form of violent clashes on social networks, but also on the streets and squares, was probably more of a children’s birthday party,” when compared to what they believed would be on the horizon if things continued to worsen.
Since August, they certainly have worsened, and there is little to no relief on the horizon. For the US, we need to take notice of the situation in Germany and recognize the left is guiding us there, too.