On eve of defining British EU referendum, rivals race for final votes

British Prime Minister David Cameron and his eurosceptic opponents made final pitches for wavering voters on Wednesday on the eve of a defining referendum on European Union membership with the outcome still too close to call.

The vote, which echoes the rise of populism elsewhere in Europe and the United States, will shape the continent’s future. A victory for “out” could unleash turmoil on financial markets and foreign exchange bureaux reported a surge in demand for foreign currency from Britons wary sterling may fall.

“Quitting Europe is a risk to your family’s future because a vote to leave on Thursday means there is no going back on Friday,” Cameron said.

Most pollsters said the result was too close to predict, and would depend on turnout on the day and any late swing among the substantial number of undecided voters.

“It’s our last chance to sort this out and take back control,” said former London mayor Boris Johnson, the main leader of the Leave campaign and favorite with bookmakers to replace Cameron in the event of Brexit. Continue reading

For Germany, Demography Is Doom

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Britain and France are in far better shape, with an average of 12.5 births per 1,000 in from 2008-2013. The IMF expects both countries to overtake Germany in total GDP by the middle of century and possibly even by 2040, implying a radical shift in the European balance of power.

 

 

Germany’s economy dominates the EU, but if demography is destiny–and it is–then, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard argues in the Telegraph, Germany is doomed. I had not realized that the numbers are so grim:

Germany’s birth rate has collapsed to the lowest level in the world and its workforce will start plunging at a faster rate than Japan’s by the early 2020s, seriously threatening the long-term viability of Europe’s leading economy. …

The German government expects the population to shrink from 81m to 67m by 2060…

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