Europe’s Finances Are a Mess
Over the years, I’ve paid heavy attention to the US economy because the vast majority of RR’s readers are from North America. The financial situation in Europe is so dire, I think it needs special attention. The COVID-19 virus has generated massive budget shortfalls among EU members.
From 2000, Eurozone debt has risen from €5.2 trillion to €12.04 trillion in the third quarter of 2020, representing 97.3% of the euro area GDP.
Over the last year, the greatest debt to GDP increases were in Cyprus at 22.9%, Italy at 17.4%, Greece at 17.3%, Spain at 16.6%, and France at 16.5%. The EU economy is drifting into a deepening slump, so there is no way for it to grow out of these ever-expanding debt loads.
Europe is now back into its third lockdown, and it appears that 2021 will be no better than 2020 as central governments print vast amounts of money to provide stimulus checks to unemployed Europeans.
The EU vaccine program has been an absolute disaster. It is a classic example of how socialism gums up the workings of the capitalist economic system. While the US has 38% of its people vaccinated, the EU has only 12% of its citizens vaccinated.
On 27 January, officials raided AstraZeneca’s facility in Brussels, following production problems that had reduced the amount of its yet-to-be-approved supply to the EU. The Commission’s president threatened to invoke Article 122, allowing the EU to seize AstraZeneca’s factories and ban vaccine exports to the UK. Because AstraZeneca is a British firm, the concern about the safety of the vaccine seems to be more the result of political infighting than pure science.
Germany’s decision to hit the brakes on AstraZeneca’s vaccine came at a terrible time, setting back the vaccine rollout just as Europe confronts a new wave of infections that have led countries to reimpose or extend the restrictions.
All the nations that needed a bailout following the Great Recession are back into hot water: Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, and Ireland. Greece has had three official bailouts since 2010, but it has credit extended to it at least eight times. With Greece’s debt at 200% of GDP, a fourth bailout is only a matter of time.
The Greeks have no incentive to balance their budget. The European Central Bank is so sensitive to rising bond yields that it is determined that they are kept as low as possible. The degree of suppression is illustrated by a Greek 30-year bond selling at a yield of 1.93% — half a percent less than the US Treasury equivalent. It is plainly wrong for a country with a deteriorating government debt to GDP ratio of 200% and an appalling track record.
What’s different this time around is that Italy, Spain, and France have joined the list. These three nations are massively larger than the four other countries, and they have total debts equal to $7.5 trillion. Italy’s national debt equals $3.1 trillion, which is 154% of its GDP.
The Germans are going to be the ones who will need to approve this new credit. The strong work ethic has made Germany Europe’s financial powerhouse. After endless rounds of bailouts to its fellow EU members, the Germans are probably starting to feel like someone who has a joint bank account with a heroin addict.
The German government may not be able to play Santa Claus much longer. Germany had seen its national debt declined as a percent of GDP for nearly a decade. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, Germany’s debt has soared from 60% to 83% of GDP.
Since many European nations owe Germany trillions of dollars from all the products they’ve purchased from their neighbor, Berlin may have no choice in voting for more bailouts. France alone owes Germany $1 trillion.
I think it’s by design that every major economic power on planet Earth has a major problem with too much debt. The day will come when central banks will lose control and panic will sweep the globe as it did in 1929. Then will come a man who has all the answers to the world’s financial woes.
“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six” (Revelation 13:16-18).
A Most Intriguing Pair…
In observing all the many indicators that the Tribulation (Daniel’s seventieth week) might be about to begin, we can, with reasonable certainty, speculate that the evil dictator of that prophesied era might be almost in view. “Is the Antichrist alive today?” is the question that is asked, right up there with, “Is America in Bible prophecy?”
The question about who this terrible tyrant will be has preoccupied many students of Bible prophecy for centuries. But it is the past few decades, with the movement into ever-increasing rebelliousness against the God of Heaven, that have been an incubator for giving the question immediately crucial importance. That is, everything is now almost in place for birthing that Beast system of control upon planet earth.
For example, society and culture have become so debased as to demand that earth’s inhabitants believe and accept that God’s way for humanity is wrong and man’s own way is how things should be. We’ve looked at this many times. Men can be in sexual relationships with other men and women with other women and we must accept it as legal, moral, and normal in every way. Marriage can be between men and men and women and women, not only relationships exclusively involving one man and one woman in the marital union for life.
A person can be the gender they want to be, not what their birth certificates indicate they are biologically. God is wrong and man is right. It is what God’s Word says is mankind “doing what is right in their own eyes.”
Antichrist’s regime of terror can be seen developing in the area of economics. Fiscal equilibrium is so out of balance nationally and worldwide as to require, as it is called, a “reset.”
This includes the globalists elite manipulating sovereign nations into a one world order of economy. It’s all moving toward the prophesied Antichrist numbers-and-mark system of Revelation 13:16–18. This is largely what the entire period of hatred for Donald J. Trump has been about. America’s dollar, thus it’s hegemony over other economies of the world, must be destroyed and US assets brought under the auspices of a central banking system. It is all to prepare for the institution of the 666 regime of economic control—over which Antichrist will be master.
In religion, the trajectory cannot be missed. Satan’s propaganda machine, the worldwide news and entertainment media, have been complicit in convincing that all religions of the world are portals to achieving godhood. Only true Christianity is equated to a hate-centered system of religion. It is called bigoted and narrow-minded to the exclusion of all of humanity who don’t adhere to Christ as the only way to salvation.
But now a man, the Roman Catholic Pope Francis, the so-called Vicar of Christ, has declared on many occasions that there are many ways to God, not just the way given in the Bible. As pontiff and acknowledged by most religious observers as head of all Christendom, this pope’s apostate view validates for the world that Christ as the only way to salvation is a lie. This, too, is a bomb-burst notice against the black skies of end-times evil that the platform for Antichrist is almost complete in its construction.
Antichrist in view?
All seems set for Antichrist to take the stage for the wind-up of human history leading to Christ’s return. Should we expect that that entity be on the scene today?
I will say here that I don’t know, but that it’s not only possible, but probable that he is somewhere on planet earth today and that he could be thrust into his blasphemous limelight at any moment. That moment would be when the Rapture happens in the twinkling of an eye (1 Corinthians 15:52).
Some believe strongly that that man is in view. As a matter of fact, those who hold to this belief say both the first and second beasts of Revelation 13 might be even now consulting with each other.
I’m not saying that I accept this. I’m just saying that there are many who do see that pair as already making themselves known in today’s headlines. A news item frames the scene some see as Antichrist and the False Prophet to come making their presence known.
FROM VATICAN NEWS: Pope Francis and France’s President Emmanuel Macron spoke by phone on Sunday, according to a press release from the President’s Office at Élysée Palace. The call, which was requested by the Pope, marks the fifth time the two world leaders have spoken since Macron’s election in 2017.
Their conversation reportedly lasted around 40 minutes, and came after President Macron sent the Pope a message on the occasion of the 8th anniversary of his election to the papacy.
The last time they spoke was October 30th of last year, after the attacks on the Cathedral of Nice, which killed 3 people.
Iraq visit “a turning point”
The Élysée press office said that during their Sunday conversation the two spoke at length about Pope Francis’ recent Apostolic Journey to Iraq. Macron said the visit marked “a true turning point” for the Middle Eastern region. The pair also dwelt on their “thoughts and concerns” about several crises affecting various parts of the globe…
According to the Élysée press statement, President Macron also spoke to the Pope about the “challenges of a post-Covid world”. Pope Francis published a book with British journalist Austen Ivereigh on the subject, in which he said humanity has been given the opportunity to build a better world after the pandemic. (“Pope Francis speaks to French President Emmanuel Macron by phone, discussing his recent visit to Iraq and the challenges of a post-Covid world,” by Vatican News staff writer, Vatican News, Rapture Ready News March 25, 2021)
Again, I don’t know—nor does anyone else—who Antichrist and his False Prophet will be. This pair does, however, make for intriguing speculation. In the final analysis, we have only God’s Word in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 to tell us about the timing of Antichrist’s coming onto the world scene as that “man of sin.”
If you’re a true believer in Jesus Christ—that He is the only way to salvation—not one who believes the way this pope promotes, you will never know for sure who this “son of perdition” is—at least not this side of your heavenly home.
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he [God the Holy Spirit resident within true believers, the Church] who now [restrains evil]will [restrain,] until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked [Antichrist] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders. (2 Thessalonians 2:7–9)
He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. (Revelation 22:20)