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Europe doesn't share Germany's economic rebound

aberrant85

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http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/04/business/global/no-bounce-for-europe-in-rebound-by-germany.html?hp

FRANKFURT — Whenever Germany thrived, so did the rest of Europe. But that long-held belief is being questioned by its neighbors, which see evidence that the country is taking off without them.

Despite Berlin’s hefty financial support of the euro zone’s more beleaguered members in the last few years, the economic crisis has corroded commercial ties between Germany and the rest of Europe. Countries like Italy and Spain no longer have the purchasing power they once did, and they trade less with Germany because of it.

Greece, the most distressed country in Europe, is now little more than a German rounding error. German exports to Greece plunged 40 percent from 2008, while Germany imported 9 percent less from Greece. Last year, Greece ranked 44th among German trading partners, just behind Vietnam.



Germany's reunification in the early 90's was watched suspiciously by some who still remembered WWI and WWII, but it's been assumed that with the economic ties of the European Union that the fortunes of Europe will rise and fall with Germany's.

However, the Euro crisis has tested that assumption. Now that Germany is recovering leagues and bounds ahead of its neighbors, is there a chance that the days of European harmony are numbered? I'm of German descent, and I love Germany. They seem to abhor war nowadays. But the rise of extremists and nationalists in countries like Greece suggest its less prosperous neighbors will start to despise it, and eventually maybe German sentiments will turn towards contempt for them. Above all else, Germans seem to fear economic instability. Their memory of hyperinflation after WWI still drives their monetary policy today.

An aggressive Germany in the 21st Century seems unthinkable, but William Shirer in the 30th anniversary edition of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich didn't think so. What's the likelihood that tensions in Europe will one day in the near future gravitate back towards the continent's economic center of gravity, Germany?
 

Captain Adverse

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http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/04/business/global/no-bounce-for-europe-in-rebound-by-germany.html?hp

FRANKFURT — Whenever Germany thrived, so did the rest of Europe. But that long-held belief is being questioned by its neighbors, which see evidence that the country is taking off without them.

Despite Berlin’s hefty financial support of the euro zone’s more beleaguered members in the last few years, the economic crisis has corroded commercial ties between Germany and the rest of Europe. Countries like Italy and Spain no longer have the purchasing power they once did, and they trade less with Germany because of it.

Greece, the most distressed country in Europe, is now little more than a German rounding error. German exports to Greece plunged 40 percent from 2008, while Germany imported 9 percent less from Greece. Last year, Greece ranked 44th among German trading partners, just behind Vietnam.



Germany's reunification in the early 90's was watched suspiciously by some who still remembered WWI and WWII, but it's been assumed that with the economic ties of the European Union that the fortunes of Europe will rise and fall with Germany's.

However, the Euro crisis has tested that assumption. Now that Germany is recovering leagues and bounds ahead of its neighbors, is there a chance that the days of European harmony are numbered? I'm of German descent, and I love Germany. They seem to abhor war nowadays. But the rise of extremists and nationalists in countries like Greece suggest its less prosperous neighbors will start to despise it, and eventually maybe German sentiments will turn towards contempt for them. Above all else, Germans seem to fear economic instability. Their memory of hyperinflation after WWI still drives their monetary policy today.

An aggressive Germany in the 21st Century seems unthinkable, but William Shirer in the 30th anniversary edition of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich didn't think so. What's the likelihood that tensions in Europe will one day in the near future gravitate back towards the continent's economic center of gravity, Germany?

Perhaps instead of denegrating Germany's economic success by comparing it to the failed economies of fellow EU members, it would be better to point out what allowed this success and suggest that other EU members learn from and adopt German economic practices???

Just a thought.
 

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http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/04/business/global/no-bounce-for-europe-in-rebound-by-germany.html?hp

FRANKFURT — Whenever Germany thrived, so did the rest of Europe. But that long-held belief is being questioned by its neighbors, which see evidence that the country is taking off without them.

Despite Berlin’s hefty financial support of the euro zone’s more beleaguered members in the last few years, the economic crisis has corroded commercial ties between Germany and the rest of Europe. Countries like Italy and Spain no longer have the purchasing power they once did, and they trade less with Germany because of it.

Greece, the most distressed country in Europe, is now little more than a German rounding error. German exports to Greece plunged 40 percent from 2008, while Germany imported 9 percent less from Greece. Last year, Greece ranked 44th among German trading partners, just behind Vietnam.



Germany's reunification in the early 90's was watched suspiciously by some who still remembered WWI and WWII, but it's been assumed that with the economic ties of the European Union that the fortunes of Europe will rise and fall with Germany's.

However, the Euro crisis has tested that assumption. Now that Germany is recovering leagues and bounds ahead of its neighbors, is there a chance that the days of European harmony are numbered? I'm of German descent, and I love Germany. They seem to abhor war nowadays. But the rise of extremists and nationalists in countries like Greece suggest its less prosperous neighbors will start to despise it, and eventually maybe German sentiments will turn towards contempt for them. Above all else, Germans seem to fear economic instability. Their memory of hyperinflation after WWI still drives their monetary policy today.

An aggressive Germany in the 21st Century seems unthinkable, but William Shirer in the 30th anniversary edition of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich didn't think so. What's the likelihood that tensions in Europe will one day in the near future gravitate back towards the continent's economic center of gravity, Germany?

Unfortunately, because the Eurozone was badly set up and because the EU faled to develop an accompanying deeper social and economic integration, the intriduction of the Euro has - in hindsight, driven the economies of the member states further apart.
 

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The problem with the EU is that member nations are autonomous. There is no centralized government to speak of. If they didn't share currency, this wouldn't be a big deal.....but they do.
 

Artevelde

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The problem with the EU is that member nations are autonomous. There is no centralized government to speak of. If they didn't share currency, this wouldn't be a big deal.....but they do.

Not all EU member states share the same currency. And an full-fledged "central government" would be unworkable and undesirable.
 

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The problem with the EU is that member nations are autonomous. There is no centralized government to speak of. If they didn't share currency, this wouldn't be a big deal.....but they do.

A more powerful EU government would mean little to no sovereignty for the individual nations. You'd be trying to mash 30 cultures together under one set of rules.

If you try to fit that many people under one set of laws, no one will be happy because nobody will get what they want. It will be nothing but compromises and tradeoffs. It's a disastrous proposal.
 

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A more powerful EU government would mean little to no sovereignty for the individual nations. You'd be trying to mash 30 cultures together under one set of rules.

If you try to fit that many people under one set of laws, no one will be happy because nobody will get what they want. It will be nothing but compromises and tradeoffs. It's a disastrous proposal.

I don't think that the cultures are that much different, just languages. Granted, I've never been to Spain or Italy...but have been to France, Belgium and Germany...the seem similar from an outsider's point of view.
 

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Not all EU member states share the same currency. And an full-fledged "central government" would be unworkable and undesirable.
It's the ultimate objective. Should it be realised, all these teething problems will be resolved. It's an entity that's attempting to consolidate authority in it's own right, while members stagger along with eroded sovereignty. A transitional period, the friction of which has only been exacerbated by the economic downturn. As the inevitable corner is turned, we'll witness a united and federalised Europe once and for all.

What the majority seem to misinterpret as incompatibility, are only birth pains.
 

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It's the ultimate objective. Should it be realised, all these teething problems will be resolved. It's an entity that's attempting to consolidate authority in it's own right, while members stagger along with eroded sovereignty. A transitional period, the friction of which has only been exacerbated by the economic downturn. As the inevitable corner is turned, we'll witness a united and federalised Europe once and for all.

What the majority seem to misinterpret as incompatibility, are only birth pains.

The EU is not a new Rome.

Rome was, in essence, the creator of most European nations and Europe as we know it today. It's cultural influence has changed everyone it has touched and more. Gauls, Britons, Dacians, Iberians, etc all these nations adopted Roman principles and life, adopted Roman culture and superimposed Roman identity on their own and became a new people. A better people. Better nations. Civilizations whose contributions to the cultural and technological and humanitarian patrimony are second to none. But that was Rome. The EU has nothing to offer in that manner. The EU's existence and future are dependent on the dilution of each national identity to the common denominators and expanding those commonalities as being more important than the things that make each people unique and that has promoted the advancement I spoke of earlier.

If the EU were a new Rome... things would be different and maybe yes, the reality would be that this process would be the pains of birth. But it's not.
 

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It's the ultimate objective. Should it be realised, all these teething problems will be resolved. It's an entity that's attempting to consolidate authority in it's own right, while members stagger along with eroded sovereignty. A transitional period, the friction of which has only been exacerbated by the economic downturn. As the inevitable corner is turned, we'll witness a united and federalised Europe once and for all.

What the majority seem to misinterpret as incompatibility, are only birth pains.

This is most definetely NOT the ultimate objective. If this was the ultimate objective, the vast majority of Europeans would quit the EU right away.
 

NoC_T

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The EU is not a new Rome.

Rome was, in essence, the creator of most European nations and Europe as we know it today. It's cultural influence has changed everyone it has touched and more. Gauls, Britons, Dacians, Iberians, etc all these nations adopted Roman principles and life, adopted Roman culture and superimposed Roman identity on their own and became a new people. A better people. Better nations. Civilizations whose contributions to the cultural and technological and humanitarian patrimony are second to none. But that was Rome. The EU has nothing to offer in that manner. The EU's existence and future are dependent on the dilution of each national identity to the common denominators and expanding those commonalities as being more important than the things that make each people unique and that has promoted the advancement I spoke of earlier.

If the EU were a new Rome... things would be different and maybe yes, the reality would be that this process would be the pains of birth. But it's not.
Of course there's no parallel, the Roman Empire based upon military conquest. Such change was imposed by physical force, or the threat of it.

But for the same reason, the changes made are far more subtle and enduring. Change wrought willingly and by consensus always operates at every level, as it entails a process of identification that requires conscious review. Make no mistake, this is an Empire in the offing. It needs no 'dilution', as you put it. Ask the Americans if their individual states are characterised by cultural uniformity.

This is most definetely NOT the ultimate objective. If this was the ultimate objective, the vast majority of Europeans would quit the EU right away.
Then how do you explain it's evolution from a simple coal and steel trading bloc, to become the default legislative and judicial entity of Europe, embracing every facet of daily life? You're aware that EU law overrules national statute, right?
 

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Of course there's no parallel, the Roman Empire based upon military conquest. Such change was imposed by physical force, or the threat of it.

But for the same reason, the changes made are far more subtle and enduring. Change wrought willingly and by consensus always operates at every level, as it entails a process of identification that requires conscious review. Make no mistake, this is an Empire in the offing. It needs no 'dilution', as you put it. Ask the Americans if their individual states are characterised by cultural uniformity.


Then how do you explain it's evolution from a simple coal and steel trading bloc, to become the default legislative and judicial entity of Europe, embracing every facet of daily life? You're aware that EU law overrules national statute, right?

You are aware this is only true of some EU-directives, right? You do know that the EU member states retain sovereignty? You do realize that the EU-Commission has been progressively losing power to the intergovernmental European Coucil for the last 20 years, right?
 

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I don't think that the cultures are that much different, just languages. Granted, I've never been to Spain or Italy...but have been to France, Belgium and Germany...the seem similar from an outsider's point of view.

Well I couldn't disagree more. I'm married to a German and I'm living here permanently. Over the 4 years I've been here I've discovered how insanely different the cultures are. Especially when you compare the mediterranean cultures to the nordic/germanic ones. Completely different outlooks on life. Trying to fit everybody under one set of laws only screws everyone.

The REAL purpose of the EU should be a close alliance of nations that agree to protect each other and trade with each other openly. There's nothing about that that requires everyone have the same government.
 

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Of course there's no parallel, the Roman Empire based upon military conquest. Such change was imposed by physical force, or the threat of it.

But for the same reason, the changes made are far more subtle and enduring. Change wrought willingly and by consensus always operates at every level, as it entails a process of identification that requires conscious review. Make no mistake, this is an Empire in the offing. It needs no 'dilution', as you put it. Ask the Americans if their individual states are characterised by cultural uniformity.

Hmm, true but you're missing out on some things. Rome inspired and awed the world beyond its borders. The German tribes are a prime example of this. though never fully conquered, they have adopted a lot of the good things that Rome had to offer. Granted, romanization was most prominent within the imperial borders, but it wasn't limited to it. Romanization continued in several territories even when the Romans retreated.

The american states are not equivalent to the European countries. They are states of mostly the same people... well, traditionally speaking. Before the civil war, each state within the union had a more prominent identity, people were virgins (from Virginia :p) first, then americans. they were pennysvalnians first, then americans. After their civil war, which is still the most costly war the USA has ever fought in terms of lives lost, the identity of american has come to weigh in more than the identity of each state... well, that's the general rule at least. But they're mostly, traditionally, the same people. Regardless how much new yorkers would like to think texans aren't in the same pot as them, they are. As much as people would like to think Arkansas doesn't exist and it's not like the rest of them, they are. Soo... yeah.

That's not the case in Europe. While it is true, our future identity, and the future of European nations is not predicated upon the past each European nation shared with one another, it's not as easy as you make it out to be.
 

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Unfortunately, because the Eurozone was
badly set up and because the EU faled to develop an accompanying deeper social and economic integration, the intriduction of the Euro has - in hindsight, driven the economies of the member states further apart.

It wasn't that it was set up poorly, its that member Countries willfully exploded their debt in clear violation of the Maastricht Treaty.

Also, its arbitrary to compare Germany's economy to other Nations or to apply their economic model to other member Countirries.
 

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Well I couldn't disagree more. I'm married to a German and I'm living here permanently. Over the 4 years I've been here I've discovered how insanely different the cultures are. Especially when you compare the mediterranean cultures to the nordic/germanic ones. Completely different outlooks on life. Trying to fit everybody under one set of laws only screws everyone.

The REAL purpose of the EU should be a close alliance of nations that agree to protect each other and trade with each other openly. There's nothing about that that requires everyone have the same government.

Well, like I said.....Germany, Belgium and France was my only exposure. However, the point I was trying to make is that they basically use the same currency, but don't have a centralized set of rules that all the members have to abide by.
 

RabidAlpaca

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Well, like I said.....Germany, Belgium and France was my only exposure. However, the point I was trying to make is that they basically use the same currency, but don't have a centralized set of rules that all the members have to abide by.

We actually have a LOT of rules that all the members have to abide by. Go read around on the EU website about the currency and all the things that are done. It is HIGHLY regulated.

That doesn't mean we need to all have the same laws.
 

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You are aware this is only true of some EU-directives, right? You do know that the EU member states retain sovereignty? You do realize that the EU-Commission has been progressively losing power to the intergovernmental European Coucil for the last 20 years, right?
National statute is subordinate to EU law for all member states. This isn't my interpretation. This is fact. Rulings decreed by the highest courts in member states have been overturned after referral to EU courts.
 

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We actually have a LOT of rules that all the members have to abide by. Go read around on the EU website about the currency and all the things that are done. It is HIGHLY regulated.

That doesn't mean we need to all have the same laws.

Well, as an American I do admit some ignorance on the subject. I was under the assumption that the EU basically just shared currency and the rest was up to the individual countries to decide how to run their country. But as we see the failures of lesser developed countries, such as Greece....that doesn't have the means of production of say....Germany, that those failures have an effect on the currency itself. I would think that a strong union would have centralized rules to help the lesser developed countries get up to speed without devastating individual economies. The strong taking care of the weak, so to speak....until the weak can stand on their own.
 

NoC_T

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Hmm, true but you're missing out on some things. Rome inspired and awed the world beyond its borders. The German tribes are a prime example of this. though never fully conquered, they have adopted a lot of the good things that Rome had to offer. Granted, romanization was most prominent within the imperial borders, but it wasn't limited to it. Romanization continued in several territories even when the Romans retreated.

The american states are not equivalent to the European countries. They are states of mostly the same people... well, traditionally speaking. Before the civil war, each state within the union had a more prominent identity, people were virgins (from Virginia :p) first, then americans. they were pennysvalnians first, then americans. After their civil war, which is still the most costly war the USA has ever fought in terms of lives lost, the identity of american has come to weigh in more than the identity of each state... well, that's the general rule at least. But they're mostly, traditionally, the same people. Regardless how much new yorkers would like to think texans aren't in the same pot as them, they are. As much as people would like to think Arkansas doesn't exist and it's not like the rest of them, they are. Soo... yeah.

That's not the case in Europe. While it is true, our future identity, and the future of European nations is not predicated upon the past each European nation shared with one another, it's not as easy as you make it out to be.
To this point, I've agreed with everything you've said regarding the Roman Empire. I'm only struggling to see how it applies to the EU. My point about the American model was that, though individual states are united federally, they lose nothing of their idiosyncrasies. Why should European states lose their cultural uniqueness for being united by a common authority? Even within a single nation, we find wildly disparate customs, dialects, traditions and historical heritages. Your fear of dilution is groundless. That there would suddenly be no difference between Spaniards and Italians? Greeks and Danes? Finns and Romanians? Thousands of years of cultural ferment and distillation, suddenly gone like a wisp of smoke? No, sir. I believe otherwise.

I don't say it would be 'easy'. Only inevitable. It's almost complete, anyway.
 

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How much of Germany's exports does the rest of Europe buy as a percentage of total exportation?

I ask because, how far can an export economy thrive, when the importers can't afford them?

I would say German economic success comes more from the way their businesses are ran, over any political ruler ship. If German companies were ran like American ones, there would be a lot more German unemployed. I guess it's not always about whats immediately profitable? If only there were some way to explain this concept to our corporate big wigs here...
 

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How much of Germany's exports does the rest of Europe buy as a percentage of total exportation?

I ask because, how far can an export economy thrive, when the importers can't afford them?

I would say German economic success comes more from the way their businesses are ran, over any political ruler ship. If German companies were ran like American ones, there would be a lot more German unemployed. I guess it's not always about whats immediately profitable? If only there were some way to explain this concept to our corporate big wigs here...

The fact is that German workers are better educated and harder working than most of their European counterparts. No cultural differences appear to have been taken into account when the EU was formed, perhaps with the idea that pointing out these differences, and the different philosophical questions regarding how to live a life, might be misinterpreted as an insult or, worse yet, racism. It was a foolish idea from the start and has never really enjoyed much public support..
 

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Why does this surprise anyone? Germany have looked after themselves first since the formation of the Euro something that countries like Greece are not slow to point out.
 

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Why does this surprise anyone? Germany have looked after themselves first since the formation of the Euro something that countries like Greece are not slow to point out.

But why shouldn't Germany look after it's own people first? If Germans have to send their money to the Greeks and the Portuguese they'll soon develop the work ethic of the Greeks and Portuguese.
 

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But why shouldn't Germany look after it's own people first? If Germans have to send their money to the Greeks and the Portuguese they'll soon develop the work ethic of the Greeks and Portuguese.

The point that people are trying to make is that the Germans manipulated the Euro and the EU so they could directly benefit from it first.
 
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