Friday 20 January 2017

Germans do not want a Europe of broken promises

The eurozone demands so much from its powerhouse economy, Germany, yet offers little in return. Wolfgang Nowak, formerly a senior adviser to Gerhard Schroder, outlines the German view ahead of today's key Berlin vote on the legality of the bailouts.

Wolfgang Nowak

Published 07/09/2011 | 05:00

German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a session of the
Bundestag in Berlin yesterday
German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a session of the Bundestag in Berlin yesterday

IN the run-up to the launch of the single currency, there was a joke doing the rounds in Paris: "When the euro is introduced, all the poor Frenchmen will become rich Germans -- and all the rich Germans will become poor Frenchmen." It wasn't particularly funny at the time, and it certainly isn't now.

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Today, the rest of Europe is looking to Germany to save the European project. Today, the country's constitutional court will rule on the legality of last year's bailout for Greece, Ireland and Portugal. Later in the month, the German parliament will vote on whether to accept the rescue facility agreed by Europe's leaders.

If either body votes the wrong way, we Germans are sternly warned, it will plunge the Continent into chaos.

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