The new book KRISEN (THE CRISIS) concerns the emergence of modern Europe.
Pictures from Sicily and Luxembourg illustrate the first part, which tells of the enormous expansion that dominated the 1950s and 60s. Cheap oil, economic growth and rapid political integration dominated the optimistic decades.
The situation got more complicated in the 70s, as international competition increased. The challenge from the emerging East Asian countries has grown ever since. During the last four decades, large parts of European industry have been mired in stagnation.
Instead, massive investments in new communications networks dominated the 1980s and 90s. The Swedish entrepreneur Jan Stenbeck was of critical importance to the development of both Vodafone and the satellites that were used by Rupert Murdoch. The pictured industries in Bergslagen provided the capital for the investments.
Sierra Nevada, Spain
Capital markets grew in unison with the telecom networks, culminating in the “IT-bubble” in 1999/2000. Interest rates fell further in the wake of the turmoil, creating the conditions for another massive bubble in the construction sector. Today, Spain alone has more the one million empty or half-finished flats, and the Mediterranean countries will live with the after effects for years to come.
But it’s the pictures from the former GDR that illustrates the most important challenge that the continent is confronted by. After Die Wende, East Germanys’ archaic industry collapsed and three million jobs were lost. Today large parts of the country are dominated by an aging and shrinking population. Making things worse, the same kind of problems can be seen in dozens of regions around Europe.
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