Jul 06 2012
A few incorrect notions have been making the rounds in the media – about Germany’s “financial strength” on the one hand, and its “desire to control everything and everyone in Europe” on the other.
These messages are usually delivered in jest. Such as the funny video out of Australia (below) and cartoon out of South Africa (also below). But, how the messages are delivered, is irrelevant. They strengthen notions about Germany and the EU’s “stability” which are off the mark. And in these times they are dangerous, in the sense that they soothe people into thinking the crisis is still manageable without major upheavals.
Germany creaking under own debt
Firstly, Germany’s financial position is far from rosy. Add the debt of local governments to the state debt, and you’ll see the country is really not in a position to be “the EU’s big saviour”. The only thing it has in its favour, is its strong export-ability, if we can call it that – its ability to “work itself out of the shit over time”, if you catch my drift, bro. Something which Greece, Portugal, Ireland, and even the UK do not have plenty of.
Watch out, the Germans are coming!
The second notion, that the Germans (via their leader Angela) want to take over and dictate to everyone, is as far off the mark as any notion can be. In fact, Mr. Average German dreams of waking up one morning to find that the euro crisis has solved itself and everyone can stand upright again without crutches sponsored by him.
Not just my view
Here you don’t have to believe me – since this morning it’s official. Well, as far as big market surveys can be trusted (and in Germany they can be).
WDR, a big regional media company, commissioned a big survey, which was conducted on the first 3 days of July. The 2 questions to the citizens of Germany were: do you think there should be a “Volksabstimmung” (referendum) on the idea of “more EU”, in the sense of handing over more autonomy to the EU in Brussels, and if you do, what would you vote?
The result? Seventy-one percent said they want to vote about the idea of “more EU” and only 39% said they would vote for “more EU” if they got the chance to vote – the rest don’t want “more EU”.
In other words, if it comes to the vote, Germany will vote against “more EU”. Now we all know (even Angela, she just can’t say it) that there is only one way out of the euro crisis and that is “more EU” and less national autonomy.
Click here for a very funny video on the topic (great Aussie humour):
Until now the Club Med countries have been resisting help from the centre, because they fear “being dictated to by the Germans”. Their attitudes will change when they hear the Germans don’t want “more EU”. Their resistance may even swing around to open begging.
(To take it to the end: that will only be made clear by a national referendum in Germany. Which Angela will, naturally, not call as long as surveys deliver results such as the one above. Or, will the financial markets make that decision for her, as well?)