BERLIN/BRUSSELS/WASHINGTON (Own report) – New records in German foreign trade are provoking massive international criticism of Berlin’s concentration on exports. According to reports, the German economy has achieved a foreign trade surplus of 20.4 billion Euros in September – a new record. It is estimated that for 2013, German companies’ exports will exceed by around 200 billion Euros the amount imported. That is the world’s highest national import-export gap. Protests are growing because many of the customer countries for German products thereby are driven into debt, as was the case in the crisis countries of the southern Euro zone. Other than the EU Commission threatening Berlin with an official reprimand, the US Secretary of Finances is accusing the German government of threatening the stability of the global economy. The IMF is also emphatically insisting that Germany rein in its export offensive. It is based on the low-wage policy, initiated by the SPD-Green government coalition – and continued by the CDU-SPD grand coalition – which provides a decisive competitive advantage to German industry. During those administrations, Germany was the sole EU nation with decreasing real wages. Continue reading
Yet again, Europe brings its split ranks to the negotiating table. Yet again, Berlin wants to lead with a project different from what the European core wants, and yet again, China will be the winner.
China is defying the European Union. It is testing the ability of the 27 member states to maintain the only common policy that actually exists – the trade policy. Europe exists on the international scene as a unique entity in one capacity only – trade. Will the Europeans throw in the towel on this issue also? Continue reading
Oskar Lafontaine, the German finance minister who launched the euro, has called
for a break-up of the single currency to let southern Europe recover, warning
that the current course is “leading to disaster”.
“The economic situation is worsening from month to month, and unemployment has reached a level that puts democratic structures ever more in doubt,” he said.
“The Germans have not yet realised that southern Europe, including France, will be forced by their current misery to fight back against German hegemony sooner or later,” he said, blaming much of the crisis on Germany’s wage squeeze to gain export share. Continue reading