Europe has had one of its hardest winters since the 1970s. The European Union specifically experienced serious economic upheaval.
One of the main uses of gas is the heating of homes in the EU, so on the current trajectory the EU is in with Russia, this might just cause a serious crunch among the electorate.
As someone who regularly discusses Putin’s war on Ukraine with Czechs, Slovaks, Brits, and others, I can tell you that despite what the media often represents, there is serious ambivalence toward Ukraine in the EU and Europe more broadly.
Let me explain.
Protests against energy prices in particular, but also against overt support for Ukraine are mounting and have become somewhat regular across the EU.
In Prague, for example, a city that I frequently visit and that just elected a pro-EU president, Petr Pavel (luckily), people often voice their opposition to sacrificing personal economic well-being on behalf of Ukraine.
Many in the Czech Republic are often mobilized in its historic Wenceslas Square, to protest against the Czech government, at the helm with the political scientist turned Prime Minister, Petr Fiala.
Presently, estimates suggest that the EU is bound to have at least a 2% recession in GDP in 2023. How will this impact the average EU citizen’s position on Putin?
Well, he might have just started winning many over to moral ambivalence.
Protests Across Europe
Similar protests to the ones we see in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Estonia have erupted in France (no surprise there, to be honest) and Spain.
The former Deputy Prime Minister of Spain went so far to say:
“European citizens are going to have to continue paying for a social fracture that is too high for the very stability of the European Union.”
Is it true that Europeans are paying for the stability of the EU?
They might be, but recession at this point is inevitable.
Indeed, this was among the most expensive winters for households of their lifetimes (some estimates put us at a…