Southern Europe is Crumbling: A Continent of Elders in Diapers


Czech mathematician Jakub Marian has created a map of Europe according to a particular index: the darker the colors, the stronger the demographic crisis. All of southern Europe is literally turning dark.

The Pope’s city, Rome, could be the setting for the sequel of Children of Men, the movie that sketched a dystopian world without babies.

The number of births in Italy fell to 485,000, fewer than in any other year since modern Italy was formed in 1861. According with a new report from Istat, the Italian office of Statistics, the Italian population will fall to 53.7 million in half century, a loss of seven million people. Italy will lose between 600,000 to 800,000 citizens every year. And the country which will “survive” to this collapse will be one of old men: the average age of the population will go from the current 44.7 to over 50. Immigrants will number more than 14 million, about one fourth of the total population. But the Italian population, warns Istat, could also drop to 46 million in the most pessimistic scenario, a loss of 14 million people. It is a silent genocide.

Greece is collapsing, too. In 2016, 8.5 children were born per 1000 inhabitants, against 11.2 dead. Greeks are filling more coffins than cradles (but this is true for most of Europe’s countries). As the Greek daily Ekathimerini reports, “the number of births in Greece in 2015 was 10.2 per cent lower than in 2001.” Data shows that in 2001, 102,282 children were born in Greece, and that number fell to 91,847 in 2015. The 20 percent of Greek women born in the 1970s have given up on the idea of having children.

The National Bureau of Statistics says that in one year, Greece lost 29,365 people, due to the birth and death rates. As a Dianeosis research reports, by 2050 Greece will lose 2.5 million people, the 20 percent of the current population. And one in three Greeks will be over 65 years old. From 2011 to 2015, Greece has already lost 300,000 people.

Spain, which better dealt with the financial crisis than Greece, is also imploding: the country loses 72 people every day. In 2050, Spain will lose 5.3 million inhabitants, 11 percent of the current population. And the over 65 age bracket will account for 34.6 percent of the population. By that date, there will be 1.7 million fewer children under the age of ten than there are today.

Portugal lies in existential disaster: the fall in birth rates across the country — down 14 percent from 2008 to 2012 — has been so acute that the government is moving to close a large number of maternity wards. From 2010 to 2014, Portugal lost 198,000 people. And the National Statistical Institute predicts a drop to 6.3 million people in 2060, from the current 10 million. “Since 2008, the birth rate of the country has fallen by an alarming 14 percent,” Foreign Affairs wrote. “In northern Portugal, the village of Agracoes provides a terrifying glimpse of what some Portuguese officials, such as Luis Ramos Leite, have warned two-thirds of the country could soon look like: a smattering of retirees living out their last days amidst crumbling infrastructure.” A vision that we must extend to much of southern Europe.

In 1973, when the birth rates of Southern Europe mysteriously began to decline, the French publisher Laffont published a novel entitled Le Camp des Saints, by Jean Raspail. The opening scene shows a professor of literature at his home in front of the sea. Migrants come in droves, while a preacher, resembling the Muslim Caliph, calls for the poor and the wretched to advance on the “Western paradise.” The epilogue shows the French population fleeing from the southern regions and army units deserting en masse.

This is exactly what happened in the Mediterranean in the last two years: the old European civilization falling apart, greying and decaying, and the African masses coming it to fill a vacuum. Europeans are now importing young people from the Third World to compensate for their decadent lifestyle choices. In three years, half million migrants landed in Italy (8,000 people during Easter weekend alone). One and a half million people reached Germany though Greece. Jean Raspail in 2004 wrote a long article for Le Figaro, in which he said that “Europe is moving towards death. (…) The sepulchral silence of the media, governments and institutions on the demographic decline of Europe is one of the most important phenomena of our time.”

Southern Europe is crumbling, like one of its Roman or Greek monuments. It is the twilight of a beautiful world which gave us Roman law, Greek philosophy and the cradle of Western Christianity. Meanwhile, Kimberly-Clark, which makes Huggies diapers, has pulled out of most of Europe. The market is not cost-effective. But Procter & Gamble, which produces Pampers diapers, has been investing in the business of Europe’s future: diapers for old people.

Giulio Meotti, cultural editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author. He is the author of three books: A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel’s Victims of Terrorism (Encounter Books); J’Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel (Mantua Books), and La fine dell’Europa, about the Christian and demographic decline in Europe. He is a columnist at Arutz Sheva and his writings have appeared in publications including the Wall Street Journal, FrontPage, Commentary, and The Geller Report.

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