Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
Whichever way you look at it, Germany is in a bit of a quandry.
For the past 11 years, since the launch of the euro single currency, Europe’s biggest economy has enjoyed steady current account surpluses as it has exported its manufactured goods around the world, while keeping labour costs down and productivity steady at home.
Its economic growth may not have been stunning in recent years, but it has experienced none of the huge budget-deficit and debt problems of its euro zone partners, particularly those in southern Europe such as Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy. And it has none of the nagging competitiveness issues that all those countries also face.
Essentially it has a modern, open economy and has pursued steady, prudent economic management.
So when Greece’s debt crisis exploded — leaving the euro zone with effectively three choices: have Greece leave the euro, let Greece default, or bail Greece out — Germany was none too thrilled about any of them. Least of all, though, did it want to bail Greece out, believing that it wasn’t up to hard-working German taxpayers to pay off Greece’s debts when the country had spent the best part of a decade spending at will and doing nothing to overhaul its economy.