The crisis in Italy and the Eurozone debt nightmare is becoming like navigating spaghetti junction in rush hour.The complexities of the crisis and the ramifications for the world economy if country by country finds themselves insolvent make the mind boggle. We have built our societies on debt and some might see current events as divine retribution for greed – a natural reordering of an unsustainable world in which wealth has been created by manipulation,expoitation and massaging of the figures and not by plain old fashioned productivity and hard work.
We are being warned that the Eurozone crisis is worse than the banking crisis of 2008. Italy’s debt interest rate stands a 7% this morning described as unsustainable – I allowed myself a wry smile when I read that Barclays has a £27.5 bn holding in Italian debt – hard to feel sorry for their potential losses when they levy an interest rate of 30% on debt ridden Barclaycard customers – yet this punitive interest is in their eyes perfectly sustainable !
Today’s student protests against the rise in university fees comes just as my 13 year old daughter is about to decide which GCSE’s she will take. We spent the weekend looking at University courses as she is determined to become a geneticist. We winced as we looked at the fees and for the first time the reality of the huge debt students leave University with hit home. We have five children so there will be a massive amount of student debt heading our way over the coming years.
I was the eldest of six children and I did a four year degree including an exchange year at University of Kansas USA, then a PGCE all paid for by the state. My husband too did a degree in Geography and his PGCE – we both agree we probably didn’t appreciate the worth of what was being provided free of charge.
Our children will have no option but to borrow to pay for their university education – todays protests will more than likely be hijacked by anarchists, allowing the government to deflect attention away from the issue of student debt – I say it’s all about priorities – and the government should prioritize the education of those who are future of this country – on this one the coalition has got it very badly wrong.