Many similarities in Arab Spring, European chaos
In the Arab world, a younger (urban) generation rebelled against authoritarian dynasties and a stifling lack of opportunity. Young Tunisians and Egyptians saw that their contemporaries elsewhere -- in countries like India, Indonesia, Turkey and Brazil -- had opportunity, the oxygen of free expression, growing income. Meantime, young Arabs were still trapped under the heel of unresponsive, corrupt regimes in stagnant economies.
In Europe, the consequence of bloated state spending within the straitjacket of the eurozone -- the 17 countries that use the single European currency -- was a contradiction bound to end in tears. Former British Prime Minister John Major wrote in the Financial Times this month, "The root of the present chaos can be traced back to bad politics taking precedence over sensible economics." If the Arab protests were motivated by a "crisis of comparison," Europe's was a "crisis of entitlement" built on false expectations. more