Reiganomika
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Reiganomika

Šiaurės šalys

Įvadas

Pasaulis susideda iš daug valstybių, jis kartu yra ir vieningas ir kartu labai įvairiapusiškas. Skirtingi regionai, skirtingos kultūros, bei požiuris, visa tai ir dar daugiau įtakoja žmonių gyvenimą, jo sąlygas. Atskirai kiekvenos valstybės ekonomika, politika, įtaka pasaulio raidai yra labai individuali, tačiau yra ir jas siejančių bendrų tkslų, kaip taikos, ekonominiai bei kiti tikslai. Šalys jungiasi į sąjungas, tarpusavyje bendradarbiauja įvairiose srityse.

Taigi, nepaslaptis, kad šiaurinis pusrutulis yra labiau pažengęs išsivystimo kriptimi.

Kaip antai JAV, Kanada, didelė dauguma Europos valstybių bei kitos.

Šiame referate kaip tik ir norime išanalizuoti Europos kaikurias valstybes. Pasirinkome daugiau šiaurines valstybes – visos skandinavijos šalys (Suomija, Švedija, Norvegija) bei Danija ir šiauriausia – Islandija.

Pasistengsime atskleisti kaip kiekvieną iš jų įtakoja politiniai sprendimai, istorišku aspektu sugrįšime į XX amžių, pabandysime pažvelgti kaip pasauliniai karai bei kiti istoriniai įvykiai atsiliepė krašto ekonomikai. Šios penkios valstybės yra labai skirtingos ir kartu labai panašios, kokią įtaką daro pasaulineme kontekste, ant kiek ekonomiškai stabilios. Kokie santykiai su kaimynėmis šalimis. Lentelių ir įvairiausių grafikų pagalba stengsimės atskleisti ekonominius rodiklius kaip mokesčių, bei kiti finansiniai veiksniai veikia šalių ekonomiką, taip pat kitų stipriausių pasaulio valstybių kontekste, jų išsivystimo lygį. Tarpusavio konkurencingumą, pateiksime duomenis apie ateities prognozes. Taip pat nepamiršime jų dalyvavimo įvairiose sąjungose bei organizacijose ir jose turintį „svorį“. Galiausiai paliesime tų šalių piliečius, jų tvyrančią nuotaiką, moralę, pasirinkimo laisvės erdves, socialines garantijas, bei kitą.

Šios penkios valstybės kartu yra kaip ir pavyzdys kitoms šalims, kaip reikia tvarkyti savo ekonomiką, politinį gyvenimą.

Tai tikrai geras pavyzdys Lietuvai.



NEXT week 24m Swedes, Danes, Norwegians, Finns and Icelanders will celebrate the summer solstice, a time of midnight sun. On the longest night of the year Swedes traditionally dance around a maypole, Danes light great fires on beaches, Norwegians take their sailing boats to the fjords, and people everywhere move to their cottages in the woods, on the coast or in the mountains. One Finn calls it „a time of leaving cities, drinking, making love, drowning and bonfires“. It is a night of exuberant pagan Nordic self-assertion.

A pan-Nordic identity is bu language (except in Finland). Those roots go a long way back. The Kalmar union of the kingdoms of Norway, Denmark and Sweden, signed in 1397, lasted more than a century. Each country was once ruled, at least in part, by a Nordic neighbour (except Denmark, where the ruler was Germany). Sweden’s national anthem does not mention Sweden at all but refers to „Norden“, the region. The intertwined national and Nordic identity is reflected in the flags of the five countries: each has its own distinguishing colours, but they all share the design of a cross on a plain background.

individual national histories too. Nearly a millennium ago, Snorre, a Norseman, described the different strengths as fighters of Swedes, Danes and Norwegians. As states, three of them are young: Norway won independence from Sweden only in 1905; Finland got it from Russia after the first world war; Iceland from Denmark towards the end of the second one. Sweden, Denmark and Norway are all rather fond of their low-key monarchies, whereas the other two are proudly republican.

Now the Nordic countries are being asked to adopt a third identity: a European one. Finland hurried into the warm embrace of Europe, currency and all, as soon as the Soviet threat next door had been removed. Two others, Sweden and Denmark, are members of the European Union, but remain undecided on the single currency. The remaining two, Norway and Iceland, have so far refused to join the EU. All four are worried about losing sovereignty and economic control. But, cautiously, they all seem to be edging closer, and are trying to define their places in Europe. As a Danish academic, Lykke Friis, puts it: „All Nordic countries are struggling to find a credible fit between their national identity and the EU.-.this fit is especially dificult because Nordic identity is about being better than Europe'“. For ‘better than Europe’, read richer than many of their European neighbours, endowed with enviable welfare systems and enjoying comparative political calm.

Identity inside the Nordic countries was built mainly on a shared history and complete ethnic homogeneity. Their inhabitants were the fair-haired, blue-eyed descendants of Norse farmers, fishermen and traders. In 1951 the author of a British report on Scandinavia wrote that „no alien stock“ had touched this part of the world. But that is changing fast. The streets of Stockholm or Copenhagen today are full of brown-skinned, black-haired immigrants from all over Asia, Europe, Latin America and Africa. Oslo has its „Little Karachi“, and in one part of Malmo in southern Sweden immigrants make up 90% of the population. In Sweden as a whole, one in four people is foreign-born or of foreign parentage. In Denmark and Norway the inflow of foreigners has also increased,
spawning anti-immigrant political parties and strict new laws to keep incomers out. To a large extent, the Nordic countries’ continued prosperity and political calm will depend on how well they succeed in integrating the new arrivals. ilt on a common culture, geography, history, ethnicity, love of nature and a shared Scandinavian

Added to these two external pressures on the old Nordic identity is a third, internal one. In all five countries life expectancy is remarkably high and birth rates are low, so the populations are ageing. A post-war baby-boom generation is now ready to retire, collect benefits from generous welfare states and make use of the excellent hospitals, clinics and home-care facilities on offer. At the same time the pool of working-age taxpayers is shrinking and resistance to high taxes is growing. The remarkably successful welfare-state system that developed after the second world war is getting squeezed.

This survey will ask whether these three big challenges to the Nordic countries—Europe, immigration and pressure on the welfare state-are fundamentally changing the identity of its people. In one way, the answer is clearly no: a core part of the identity of the Nordic people is pragmatism, which has enabled them to cope with momentous changes in the past and will do so again. That British report of half a century ago gave warning that: „The Scandinavian states can no longer consider themselves in a peaceful backwater, unaffected by the swift stream of events which bears others remorselessly along.“ At that point, Iceland had recently won its independence, Finland was paying reparations to Russia for fighting it, the Danes and Norwegians were coping with the aftermath from Nazi rule and the Swedes were trying to find an international role. They were hardly quiet times.

Since then the Nordic states have managed to swim in cold waters remarkably well. To be a citizen of one of them today is to be more assured of wealth, political stability, generous welfare, low crime and a good life than in most other countries. In international comparisons, one of the Nordic five regularly comes off best. Finns are the least corrupt people anywhere; Norwegians enjoy the best standard of living;

the Finnish economy is the most competitive after America; the Nordics as a group are the happiest in their jobs, and most generous with foreign aid; Nordic women enjoy more equal treatment with men than those anywhere else; and so on. One veteran Finnish commentator sums it up crisply: „We live today in idyllic circumstances in terms of security, living standards and domestic politics; in a way it is unbelievable.“ But can this tolerant, rich

and happy dream continue?

Edging closer

As YOU travel around the Nordic countries, the money in your wallet tells its own story. Europhile Finns were delighted to be among the first wave of EU member countries to adopt the single currency, so you need euros to pay for your sauna or your plate of crayfish in Helsinki. The Danes, who have been in the European Union since 1973, narrowly turned down membership of the single currency in a referendum in September 2000, but the Danish krone is closely pegged to the euro, and

euro notes and coins flowing over the border from Germany are widely accepted in shops and restaurants. So Danes are already getting used to the new currency, and polls show that two-thirds of them are ready to adopt it.

The picture is less clear in Sweden, which has been a member of the EU since 1995 but seems as reluctant as the British to embrace the common currency. If the Swedes vote yes in a referendum on September i4th, meatballs and aquavit in

Stockholm will be sold for euros as early as 2006; but that remains a big if. The prime minister, Goran Persson, is leading the yes camp against a motley crew of sceptics. But despite a Swedish tendency to agree that those in authority usually know best, voters so far seem unconvinced.

Compared with the Norwegians, however, the Swedes look like uncritical Euro-enthusiasts. Norway’s government twice applied for membership of the EU, only to be slapped down by oil-rich and fiercely patriotic voters at referendums in 1972 and 1994. The more recent vote proved pain-?fully divisive, so political parties have mostly shunned the issue since. For the moment the Norwegian krone looks safe. Yet eventually even Norwegian Euro-sceptics may be persuaded to change their minds. In recent months polls have shown growing support for joining the EU: leaving aside the don’t knows, the yes camp is now in a majority.

The price of fish

If Norway were to join, super-sceptical Iceland would be left out alone. The island was originally settled by uppity Viking warriors who wanted to run their own show, and still preserves a strong national pride. But Iceland’s main worry is that EU fishing directives would hurt its privately run and flourishing fish industry, which is central to its economy. The country is finding new sources of revenue (such as aluminium smelting and tourism) that might eventually ease its dependence on fish, but not for a while yet. However, if Norway, a rival exporter of fish, were to join the EU and get inside that big market, Iceland might choose to follow suit.

Many on the left of Nordic politics argue that moving closer to Europe would mean losing control over social policies (such as high taxes on alcohol). Soren Wibe, a Social Democrat MP in Sweden and an outspoken leader of the no
campaign, says he fears adoption of the euro would eventually lead to a common European fiscal policy, „so we would have to dismantle our welfare state quite a lot.“

Such fears help to explain the persistent Nordic scepticism about wholehearted participation in the EU. One Danish observer of European politics says the aloof

Nordics have long felt that they are better off and better run than the average European country, but they do worry about being isolated. The urban elite tend to think that closer ties with Europe make sense, but they must convince their more reluctant compatriots, especially in rural areas. Giving people a direct say can make a difference. For example, many Finns regret that, unlike the Danes, they never got the chance to express their views on the common currency in a referendum.

Still, there is no doubt that, of all the Nordic countries, the Finns are the greatest cheerleaders for the EU. A former Finnish prime minister, Aho Esko, talks of a „Euphoria when Finland was president of the Union“, once his countrymen had finally shaken off their fear that Russia might limit the country’s role in Europe. „Compared with 1809, when Russia took control of Finland from Sweden, joining the EU is nothing,“ says another Finn.

Paavo Lipponen, the country’s prime minister until April this year, believes his country has done well from joining both the union and the euro: Finland „definitely benefits from the single currency. It is stability that has given us such confidence. I don’t think [Sweden and Denmark] benefit from staying outside.“ He offers Finland’s recent economic prosperity as something to bear in mind for those considering euro membership.

The new prime minister, Anneli Jaatteenmaki, is less voluble about things European, and one recent poll suggests that 68% of her countrymen think too much power has been handed to Brussels. But she is unlikely to make big policy changes, not least because her Centre Party must share power with the Europhile Mr Lipponen’s Social Democrats.

Meanwhile in both Denmark and Sweden there is a growing consensus that membership of the EU is a good thing, despite some pain for small farmers. The prime ministers of both countries also favour joining the euro. Denmark’s Anders Fogh Rasmussen thinks that staying outside the single currency has done his country no economic damage, but politically it has been a problem. „We don’t have a seat at the table where decisions are made.“ He thinks public opinion is moving towards joining the euro: „People realise that Denmark should be a fully fledged member of the EU to have full influence. And they realise the euro would be more practical.“

But another referendum on adopting the single currency will be tricky, not least because questions loom on the country’s other „opt-outs“-from EU treaties on defence, citizenship, and justice and home affairs. Mr Fogh Rasmussen says the government aims to abolish the military opt-out, especially after seeing certain NATO tasks-such as peacekeeping in Macedonia—taken up by the EU. He promises another referendum on Europe in 2004 or 2005, though he has not yet decided if that is the right time for a „big bang“ vote to end all remaining opt-outs. Although Danes seem ready for the euro, which they already have in much but name, and for military co-operation, they remain deeply sceptical about common policies on justice and home affairs (which would oblige them to give up some of their anti-immigration laws), and about the more symbolic question of being a citizen of the EU.

If Denmark were yet again to vote against adopting the euro, it might have to consider whether it can remain a member of the EU at all. There is a widespread assumption, both within the country itself and among other EU members, that Denmark’s optouts are temporary and that the country is on the way to becoming a full and wholehearted member. Another

public rejection would scotch that idea and prompt suggestions that Denmark should go for the „Norwegian solution“ of associate membership instead.

Meanwhile, though, the Danes can have fun watching the Swedes tie themselves in knots before the referendum on euro membership in September. Swedish voters and politicians, even within government, are deeply divided. For example, although the prime minister is in favour, the trade and industry minister, Leif Pagrotsky, is campaigning for a no vote. He says Sweden’s economy is now doing better than euroland and that „the Euro-sclerosis in Germany is not for us.“

Last November, when the referendum date was announced, polls showed a small majority in favour of joining. But that has since evaporated, just as it did in Denmark three years ago, and now the no camp seems to be in the ascendant. In April the main blue-collar trade-union organisation, LO, took offence at the government’s refusal to put aside „buffer funds“ to cover social costs arising from the transition, and said it would not campaign in favour.

Much now depends on Mr Persson’s own yes campaign, which could swing a lot of undecided voters. He can count on support from pro-euro companies that will

provide money for the campaign, and from many male white-collar workers. But he will have to rely mainly on the political case forjoining-briefly, that Sweden outside the euro zone lacks influence in Eu-rope-because the economic case is not clear-cut.

Some economists, such as Klas Ekiund at Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, argue that Sweden’s
step with Europe, that interest rates set by the European Central Bank would suit it, and that the country would gain from a stable currency, more trade, higher growth and bigger markets within the euro zone. But others insist that gains would be marginal or non-existent. Mr. Pagrotsky worries that „Sweden would be less than 3% of the economy of the monetary union, and with a history of high inflation. Why drop the one effective anti-inflation measure?“ He believes that Sweden should sign up only if Britain were to join the single currency.

Mr Persson may fear that if he campaigns strongly for a yes vote but is handed a no, his own standing will be damaged. He has been prime minister since 1996, was re-elected last year and is now the only Social Democrat to lead a government in the Nordic region. He may be loth to risk his popularity at the peak of his powers.

Whatever the Swedes decide, the campaign will encourage neighbouring Norway to rethink its position in Europe. Although a Swedish yes on the euro will not automatically help the pro-EU camp in Norway, it will prompt Norwegians to make up their minds. Already polls show that the group of undecided voters is shrinking, with the pro-EU camp picking up support.

One reason why Norwegians may want to consider EU membership anew is the price of food, which thanks to huge tariffs on some imported foodstuffs is one-third higher than in Sweden. Meat in Norway is so expensive that before Christmas families traditionally drive to Sweden to buy festive supplies of pork ribs and steaks. Because of limits on the amount of meat each person can import, children (known as Jleskunger, or bacon kids) are crammed into the backs of cars to make the trip worthwhile. Norwegians are expected to spend NKr9 billion ($1.3 billion)

over the border this year.

But non-membership costs money in other ways too. Norway and Iceland have just been through tough renegotiations with the EU on the terms of their membership of the European Economic Area, which provides for free movement of goods, services, capital and labour between the Union and European countries (other than Switzerland) that have remained outside. From 2004 both countries will pay five times their present membership fee; Norway will also funnel existing bilateral aid for eastern Europe through the EU, so its total transfer to the Union will top NKn.7 billion a year, a tenfold rise.

Nor is money the only consideration. „As well as paying in, Norway has now adopted an estimated 5,000 EU directives as its own law,“ says Jarle Hammerstad of HSH, a business organisation in Oslo. Even Norway’s formerly sceptical prime minister, Kjell Magne Bondevik, has recently admitted he feels a „dilemma“ over whether to apply to join. Most political parties are currently reconsidering the implications of membership.

EU enlargement to the east has also helped to change Norwegian perceptions of Europe. Haakon Kavli, a researcher with MMI, a polling organisation in Oslo, says the biggest shift in opinion towards membership has been in coastal areas. Many fishermen have traditionally been Eurosceptics, but many also sell to eastern Europe, and with those markets soon to become part of the EU they see more reason for Norway to join too.

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