The Brussels elites often have trouble grasping that there’s a world beyond the European Union. Ever since the Lehman Brothers collapse six years ago, they’ve been talking about a “world recession.” Hmmm: World recession? Are Indian rickshaw drivers standing idle, Japanese pearl divers sighing with boredom, Mexican drug lords loafing about waiting for someone to behead? No. The rest of the world has shaken off the credit crunch bug. Only the EU appears to have picked up a chronic condition.
Last year, according to the International Monetary Fund, the United States grew at 2.8 percent, Latin America by 2.9 percent, India by 4.7 percent, the Middle East by 4.9 percent, Africa by 5.1 percent and China by 7.7 percent. But the Eurozone shrank by 0.4 percent. I say “Eurozone,” not “Europe,” because the countries that kept their currencies — Britain, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Poland — grew healthily enough.