Some decades ago there was a crazy man called Adolf Hitler who put Germany against almost all the continent. Some decades later Germany is a democracy, has no in its agenda the idea of invading any other neighbouring country and furthermore it is ruled by a nice frau called Angela Merkel.
But there is one very worrying similarity: Some decades later, the chancelor of Germany is putting again Germany almost against all the continent.
You only have to read any newspaper outside Germany and realise that now the evil in Europe is Angela Merkel because Germany does not accept changing things in the ECB so that the ECB could save the rest of Europe.
As I have been living in Germany and some of the my friends come from Germany and as I admire Germany and I have always wished that back in Barcelona we did things in a more organised way as the germans do I feel in a very strange position!
On the one hand I see how almost all Europe (and Japan too …) is putting pressure on Germany to let the ECB save the euro and on the other hand I understand too the German reasons not to do that!
During the last weeks I have been speaking nice words about Angela Merkel but I wonder if in the following days I maybe doing the opposite.
For me it is not difficult to imagine the position of Germany because I just have to imagine a german friend of mine and imagine her possible words: “these last years the south of Europe has been living about its possibilities. Now it is time you pay your debts. It is not fair that the ECB pays for your irresponsibility! If the ECB buys and buys then it is as saying: Ok, you can spend because later the ECB will pay.”
I know that the situation for the countries in the south of Europe is difficult. In order to remain in the eurozone we have to be very austere. A lot of sacrifices will have to be made in order to have a better currency than the one we had. All this conditions for Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, etc are very bad but at least they can say that thanks to their sacrifices they are having a better currency. But in the case of Germany to let the ECB print any money to save countries would be also a sacrifice because it makes the euro less respected than former Deutsche mark. It is obvious that the German could aslo make a sacrifice as the rest of Europe will have to do but the problem is that they should do that in order to have a worse currency than the Deutsch Mark! And that’s the problem!
So, what I mean is that I understand both sides! For Spain, Italy, Greece, etc we need a ECB that acts as our bank so it saves us as any central bank would do! On the other hand Germany also wants the ECB as their bank so it should act to the benefit of German interests.
SO, WHAT CAN BE DONE?
Some may say that things should be done according to Germany because it is the great power of the eurozone. Well, this is true but if you put together Italy, France and Spain then may be they together stronger than Germany. But just the fact of imagining what I have imagine (Italy, France and Spain against Germany) makes me realise in what a dangerous situation we are!
So, when Mr Zapatero asks Merkel to let the ECB act as any central bank (he has not mention exactly these words but this is what he means, doesn’t he?) we must stop and think: WAIT A MOMENT! WHAT’S GOING ON HERE? IS EUROPE THROWING STONES TO EACH OTHER AGAIN?
As we are more civilised it is obvious that tomorrow Berlin won’t send its army to France in order to invade Spain. But the fact it is that the problems of today could become the seeds that bring war in a decade or two! We the Europeans are not going to kill each other tomorrow because of the eurocrisis but these eurocrisis could give birth, in some years, to extreme parties which could come to power accross Europe. And then, war could return.
So my solution is the following:
ONE: First acknowledge that we are in a crucial time in the history of Europe. What Europe decides in the next days, weeks or months will change the future of Europe (and affect the rest of the world)
TWO: We have to realise that maybe now it is time to risk and do what we have not done in decades! Maybe it is already the time that the states of Europe (at least some) unite in a way similar to the US. O maybe we should return to a EU with less ties. But some important decision should be taken! And fast!
THREE: It is time to think and to act. Maybe we may do things that we were not going to do before. Sacrifices should be made all around. Maybe the eurozone should act more in a German way but Germany must also realise that if other countries are being rules from ouside – it almost seems the case of Italy or Greece – then germany must aslo loose a bit of power.
To end I think that the problem is that Merkel must realise that when she says MEHR EUROPE she does not realise that that also applies to Germany! If all in Europe is done as Berlin wants then we have not MEHR EURPA aber … MEHR DEUTSCHLAND …
- Germany’s Bitter Recipe Tests Euro Zone’s Solidarity (nytimes.com)
- The Euro Zone Crisis: Are the Merkozy Headed for Divorce? (globalspin.blogs.time.com)
- Merkel: still no quick fix to euro crisis (seattlepi.com)
- The.cat Interviews Angela Merkel (trenhoteleuropa.wordpress.com)
- Playing Chicken With The ECB: The Market Has Issued A Boycott On Draghi Until He Prints (zerohedge.com)
- A Quick Guide To What’s Going On In This Debate About The ECB (businessinsider.com)
- France and Germany clash over role of ECB (telegraph.co.uk)
- Merkel And Germany Are Saying All The Wrong Things At Exactly The Wrong Time (businessinsider.com)
- Hamish McRae: How Europe can shore up its rescue of the single currency (independent.co.uk)