Monday, May 7, 2012

Austerity and Germany Lose

The big loser on the week ending Sunday?  Germany.  They lost The Netherlands on the same day as the first round of voting in France was underway as its government vaporized because of austerity.  They lost Greece when the ruling coalition lost the elections Sunday.  They lost France – the big one – when Merkozy was fired.  And all because Herr Wolfgang Schauble, the German Finance Minister and Merkel believed in Hooverism for everyone else, except Germany.  Guess what?  German economic theory that put austerity at the top of the list of actions that needed to be taken, followed closely by….austerity in number two position closely followed by – wait for it – more austerity, has resulted in the implosion of the Dutch government, amazing suffering of ordinary Greeks resulting in social upheaval and  the rise of a true Nazi party (ok, named after a fantasy role playing game, but nevertheless…) and defeat for the parties that agreed to the German prattle and yesterday  the dumping of their partner in crime, Sarkozy.  And guess what guys, Spain is next.
Now – suddenly – as if struck by lightning, the Germans are talking about growth policy.  Get this: Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said that France and Germany should "quickly get to work on adding a growth pact to the fiscal treaty to promote competitiveness". Then, the architect of the current mess, Wolfgang Schauble says that wages in Germany should rise, so increasing the demand for exports from the rest of the eurozone and raising economic growth. "By raising pay, Germany would help reduce economic imbalances in Europe", Mr Schauble said. It doesn’t get better than this. Now the Germans are warning Greece and everyone else that there will be no change to the fiscal stability pact.  Yes, that’s the position for Germany to take.  Very, very clever those threats.
Oh – and a word to Republican idiots in the US.  Hooverian austerity doesn’t work. Period.

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