Most German's dont hate Angela Merkel. She is not at the origin of the European crisis, and she is not a trained economist. Maybe she is not able of surrounding herself with appropriate consultants, because she has eliminated too many of her former opponents in the Christian Democrat Party. But that is no reason to hate her.
The European crisis requires a thourough understanding of economics and finance, and I do not think that the current German government will easily contribute a solution. They will try to avoid exposure to anything controversial and look for compromise wherever possible.
If the current government takes over too much liabilities from Southern European countries, this would destabilize the current coalition and even lead to a break up prior to the federal elections in 2013. There are lots of poor regions within Germany, so many people do not understand if billions of Euros are spent on a country as far away as Greece.
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In my 31 years living in Holland ( small country next to Germany) this is absolute not true according my experience. I have not yet met anybody who has real hatred against Germany ( other than occasional joke but that's 'normal' for adjacent countries). In contrary, most people are just normal/positive biased to Germans. (We have been occupied by Germany during wo2)
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@FatTails: Thank you for your wise and succinct posts. However, they still left me wondering: "Does the average German want to bail out Greece? Does the average German hate the idea? Does the average German care?"
I lived with a group of Germans in grad school at a top American engineering school. I can say with confidence that almost all of them would have hated the idea, and would have had about as much confidence in politicians as you do. Actually, mostly (but not completely) jokingly, they probably would have said that they would rather invade Greece than bail her out (which, although outlandish, considering the politicians and Ponzis, could be a better alternative for everyone involved). Your thoughts?
Germans certainly do not want to bail out Greece. And by the way Finnish and Slovakian and other Northern or Central European Nations do not want either.
The problem is asymmetry. Some of the institutions of the European Union are centralized and others are decentralized. The European Parliament has little power. There is no common economic and financial policy. Some countries favor deficit spending, others try to maintain a reasonable budget. Udner these circumstances each government sets up its own rules, and they all come together and agree that they want to defend local power against the central institutions. The real problem is that the European institutions have no proper legitimation, as there is no powerful Parliament controlling them. The real political power therefore remains in the hand of local politicians.
In Italy you have a criminal premier, Greece has incompetent politicians, so why should the civilized world pay for all that mess? Paying presupposes common institutions, a common financial and economic policy, and a powerful, legitimate Parliament to control the institutions and central policy makers.
In short, the main preconditions for transferring money are not satisfied. The money which could be distributed would soon be out of control and end up in the hands of corrupt or criminal politicians. So not astonishing that the story is perceived as a nightmare by the taxpayers in Northern Europe.
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Europe is not united. I also find not so nice words such as FT.
Europe has many problems to be solved so that they are one unit.
Western Europe has always been strong and the north it is. Eastern Europe comes straight out of the socialism. Southern Europe is not Western Europe. The systems in culture, politics and economics are different.
But they have almost all the euro. Bad for poor people. Inflation is low, the rise rate by open markets and tougher competition is enormous. Pressure comes from all sides.
Greece, then Portugal, Italy begins, and then the east (except the poles, which grow very quickly) all have massive problems. The problem is the media and the mismanagement of the systems.
America loses also in power. The dollar is still worth the dollar. China is bigger and dominates markets and currencies maybe in 10 years, if the Western world does not wake up.
The next problem:
All for the same work:
a german gets € 2,500 a month
the greek gets the same
a portuguese gets € 800
the romanian gets € 250 a month
and the chinese gets € 80
So many trouble ... No one wants more to Switzerland, because Switzerland for the Euro countries is too expensive.
Causality is the relationship between an event (the cause) and a second event (the effect), where the second event is a consequence of the first.
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