RIPE NCC is not allocating IPv4 addresses in the pace that I was anticipating. This has an interesting effect on the number of IPv4 addresses RIPE will have in their pool when the IANA pool gets depleted. If they continue to allocate in this low pace they will push their future allocations to IANA later and later. Soon they might overtake the questionable honor of being the last RIR to request an allocation from IANA. As we have an odd number of blocks in the IANA pool, the last allocations from IANA will only be 1 x /8. This will lower their pool at IANA depletion date and will in turn make RIPE the first region to run out of IPv4 addresses.
Furthermore, RIPE continues to allocate space from the 188/8 block. This block is in the various pool and was expected by everybody to be used by RIPE after the IANA pool gets depleted. The effect of the fact that they allocate from 188/8 is that RIPE will get depleted even earlier.
Consider this example. You are going on a hike with 4 friends and everybody gets a candy bar before they leave. An all you can eat buffet will be served the second day. After that the hikers will not get any more food until they reach the goal, three days away. When would you eat your candy bar? RIPE is eating their right now (on day one).