Every morning I check the stats to see just who is visiting my blog and where they are from in the world! You’d be surprised! Of course the largest number are from the US, followed by Panama and Canada, pretty much what you’d expect. But every day there are visitors from 15 to 20 countries in the world, many you’d never think of and a few I’d never heard of. Perhaps because Emirates is talking about a direct flight from Dubai to Panama City, which will be the longest non-stop flight in the world, I get a surprising number of visitors from the UAR. China is another surprise. I guess many wealthy Chinese are looking for a safe haven with a safe currency as a place to park their money. Lots of South American countries … looking to escape the economic turmoil that many are experiencing. And of course Russia and many of the former Soviet satellite countries. So it’s all very interesting.
But, if you lumped all the visitors from all the member countries of the European Union together, Europe would be right up there with the US and Panama in terms of the number of visitors to my blog. Why are Europeans so interested in moving to Panama? Well, for good reasons!
The European Union, while sounding like a good idea, has burdened Europeans with a whole, gigantic additional bureaucracy duplicating parliaments, adding a whole new set of regulations, creating confusion and making a burdensome tax system even worse. While the Euro may not be in free-fall at the moment, it is no longer what it once was. Some EU countries are barely hanging on with enormous unemployment particularly among younger people. A somewhat “borderless” EU has made it possible for citizens of EU countries to live anywhere and go anywhere creating massive social upheaval and enormous security problems in the war on terrorism. The result is that many Europeans are looking to throw off the burden of excessive taxation, and find a secure, growing, forward-looking, and relatively safe place to call home. The fact that Panama is also beautiful, centrally located, and less expensive than most of Europe, make it even more attractive. Most European nations are on Panama’s list of “friendly nations” making it possible for Europeans who choose to work to get permanent, working visas in Panama. Even those who don’t choose to physically relocate, find Panama a good place to park and invest money since the US dollar, although not perfect, is still regarded as one of the world’s safest currencies. And for folks from Spain, well Panama already, more or less, speaks the same language.
And Panama is becoming easier and easier to get to! Those Europeans who simply must have their traditional Christmas market, or want to spend a few weeks skying in the Alps can now take advantage of direct flights to Europe on Iberia, KLM, Air France and Lufthansa airlines, and those from Turkey, also part of the EU, on Turkish Airlines with direct flights to Istanbul. And Panama City to Amsterdam is only 10 hours 20 minutes, quicker than the 10 hours 40 minutes it takes to fly from Panama City to Seattle.
But … EUROPEANS WON’T BE TAKING NOAH’S ARK!
Well in seems that one European fellow, a Dutch carpenter named Johan Huibers, built a replica of the famous Noah’s ark after he dreamed of a flood in his home town. As he was sailing into Oslo harbor, perhaps as good of a place as any for a good survivalist to escape oncoming destruction, Johan’s ark collided with a moored Norwegian coast guard cutter. The ark didn’t fare very well. To bad, since there really is a better way for Europeans to ESCAPE TO PARADISE!