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Germany Emerges

G.FriedmanMr. George Friedman is Founder and Chairman, Stratfor, a private intelligence company located in Austin, TX.

This article is published herein by permission of Stratfor.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, accompanied by French President Francois Hollande, met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Feb. 6. Then she met with U.S. President Barack Obama on Feb. 9. The primary subject was Ukraine, but the first issue discussed at the news conference following the meeting with Obama was Greece. Greece and Ukraine are not linked in the American mind. They are linked in the German mind, because both are indicators of Germany’s new role in the world and of Germany’s discomfort with it.

It is interesting to consider how far Germany has come in a rather short time. When Merkel took office in 2005, she became chancellor of a Germany that was at peace, in a European Union that was united. Germany had put its demands behind it, embedding itself in a Europe where it could be both prosperous and free of the geopolitical burdens that had led it into such dark places. If not the memory, then the fear of Germany had subsided in Europe. The Soviet Union was gone, and Russia was in the process of trying to recover from the worst consequences of that collapse. The primary issue in the European Union was what hurdles nations, clamoring to enter the union, would have to overcome in order to become members. Germany was in a rare position, given its history. It was in a place of comfort, safety and international collegiality.

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PapandropulosDr. Athanase C. Papandropoulos studied economics, politics and media communication in at the university of Mons, university of Liege and university of Lille. He obtained his PhD in Economics in Mons.

He has become one of the leading European personalities among media people, especially in European and business affairs.

He is International Honorary President since 1998, and Former International President 1992-1998, Association of European Journalists;   Anchorman for financial matters at SBC TV; Editorial consultant at “European Business Review” magazine.


This time the situation is indeed very serious. A new party made its appearance in German politics and is composed of economists, lawyers and Christian Democrat politicians who believe in the dissolution of the euro area before this, they say, breaks Germany. The new party will be called «Alternative for Germany» and its basic philosophy is the exit of Germany from the euro zone and return to the Deutschmark, or another currency involving The Netherlands, Austria, Finland and any other country shares the German positions on competitiveness, fiscal discipline and reduce government borrowing.
«Joining the euro zone and the adoption of the single European currency proved fatal mistakes, that undermine prosperity. The old parties, not only do not understand the mistakes they made, but continue to grow», said Hans-Olaf Henkel, former president of the Association of German Industries and well-known europhile. «In my professional life I made the serious mistake some years ago supporting the euro», adds the German industrialist, who has a strong influence on German political and economic lives.
«Our exit from the euro is now imperative. Differences between North and South is the cancer of Europe, which self-destructs. The Mediterranean countries can maintain the euro to devalue and try to deal with their debts. May be so subsided threat of bankruptcy for these countries», says professor Bernd Luque, who is also a leading member of the new party. «When we see the Italians vote for Bepe Grillo and ignore their massive debt and to deal with it, we do not understand why German taxpayers should tend a helping hand», says the German economist Kurt Hetzel, member of the new party. «The Italian elections demonstrate the real risks for the euro. To the extent that the repayment of excessive debts of Southern Europe depends on political decisions of their peoples and electoral choices, something is not clear», argues Horst Keller, journalist, commentator on German television channel ZDF. Moreover, recent poll conducted on behalf of the channel shows that 69% of Germans believe that the euro is disastrous for the economy and 49% favor the exit of Germany from the euro zone.

Based on these political developments in Germany, many European observers point out that, on the one hand, Europe has embarked on a very slippery slope and, on the other hand, the German chancellor Mrs. A.Merkel elections next September is now facing very seriously the specter of defeat. This is because the new party can achieve an electoral score of around 10%, which mainly comes from the Christian Democrat area. Therefore, there may be quite a messy political situation in Germany after the September elections. The Social Democrats could be the first party again, but without the ability to form a majority government. «The Social Democrats, in Agenda 2010 managed to strengthen the German economy by making reforms that ultimately cost them power. Under these circumstances, the return to power would lead to even more reforms», says journalist A.Frouktman.
The latter clearly hinted the former Social Democrat chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who, in an interview to the newspaper Bildt, said that in the new and highly competitive world, Germany should maintain its position, for the benefit not only of the people but also of Europe. These words of the ex-chancellor –who, in essence, the Agenda 2010 is the man who created the conditions for the high flights of the German economy– mean much, in our opinion. Essentially, we have reason to conclude that, with respect to fiscal discipline and political management of the public debt, Germany is not going to put too much water in the glass of wine. Moreover, the trend of the euro is doubtful, if the European Union decides to go ahead to the economic union, after ten years of monetary inflation.

So, if Germany quits the euro zone, who will give loans to the vociferous populists of the South?