The economic recession in Europe is refusing to go away, despite (or thanks to) all the efforts of the EU. Economists would say that formally, the recession has ended years ago, but what do they know? If they’re so smart, how come they never saw it coming?
A recession is, however, not only a negative thing. For example, thanks to the recession, the roads are less congested. As transport by trucks goes down, traffic jams are decreasing, so I can actually (sometimes) get to my recession-proof university job by car in less than 25 minutes. A side-effect of the diminished traffic is that less new roads are being constructed, so the already small amount of nature left in small European countries is being demolished at a slower rate. Also, because of the recession, construction of new offices and industrial parks has virtually stopped. Hopefully the planners and architects will use this break to reconsider some of the design and development choices they’re making, like coming up with something truly original and sustainable.
Anther consequence of the recession is that its a buyers market in the housing. Prices have dropped by 20-25% and you can often bargain even further. I’d love to use the opportunity, but unfortunately, I have my own place that I’d have to sell first. With 50 other apartments for sale in the block, I just don’t see it happening any time soon.
The one thing that appears to be recession-proof are the fuel prices in Europe. They just keep going up, rain or shine. If the current trends will continue, in a couple of years when no one will be able to afford the gasoline any more, I will have the empty highways all for myself to cycle on. Good thing I like cycling. It would be a dream come true.