Renewed pressures on Berlin to adopt growth policies

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, went to Frankfurt-on-Main where he held the "First Frankfurt speech on Europe", entitled "Wir müssen reden, Europa!" (We need to talk about Europe!). (EC Audiovisual Services, 05/11/2013).

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, went to Frankfurt-on-Main where he held the “First Frankfurt speech on Europe”, entitled “Wir müssen reden, Europa!” (We need to talk about Europe!). (EC Audiovisual Services, 05/11/2013).

Yesterday, the European Commission in Brussels announced that euro area growth prospects are sluggish, and downgraded the projected rate of GDP increase for 2014, from 1.2% to 1%. Also yesterday President Manuel Barroso, while speaking in Saint Paul’s Church in Frankfurt, where the first democratically elected Parliament of Germany was convened, called on this country to do more to help itself and others gain a robust growth path. His message was that Germany should indirectly support Eurozone’s south, to overcome a long period of unemployment and recession, cautioning that direct help with loans doesn’t lead anywhere.

Growth policies needed, not loans

Barroso explained that “Germany could do more to enable also the others to bring in their respective assets, for example, through free and unhindered access to the service markets across Europe including Germany or through wages in line with productivity”. In short, he followed the US Treasury and the IMF in asking Germany to relax its restrictive economic policies and open up its protected services market to others. Of course, he used less strong wording than the Americans.

The President of the Commission is well aware that negotiations between Angela Merkel’s CDU and SPD socialists to form a coalition government in Berlin, are now centred on the introduction of a mandatory minimum wage around €8.5 an hour. It’s at least five years now that real wages in this country are being nailed down. German workers haven’t gained anything from their country’s strong productivity performance during the past five years. Barroso meant that the time has come for the German workers to get their share from their country’s increased competitiveness, and through their increased spending on consumption, to help the entire Eurozone enter again into a sustainable growth path.

Germany should do more

Last week the US Treasury, in its semi-annual economic report accused Germany of hoarding unneeded trade surpluses and applying austere incomes and fiscal policies. According to the Americans, in this way Germany hurts the growth potential not only of the rest of Eurozone but of the entire world. Berlin answered back by saying that, “The trade surpluses reflect the strong competitiveness of the German economy and the international demand for quality products from Germany.” In any case, the Americans and the IMF for quite some time insist that Germany should change its economic policies.

Coming back to Europe, this is not the first time that Barroso criticises Germany on its insistence on austerity policies. His new intervention yesterday on this subject coincided with a statement by Commission’s Vice-President Ollie Rehn that Eurozone is heading towards disinflation and a freezing of unemployment along the present unacceptably high levels, mainly in the south. Yesterday Rehn presented the Commission’s autumn economic forecasts, stressing Eurozone’s poor growth prospects. When it came to unemployment and disinflation, he appeared more pessimistic. As the European Sting reported this morning, he stated that “growth will pick up only gradually and will translate into jobs only with a lag”. Later on, he also accepted that the “most recent data indicate that we will likely see an even lower rate of inflation in the near term”. Inflation in Eurozone has been and still is decelerating fast to 0.7% in October, from 1.6% in July.

In view of those bleak prospects, Barroso couldn’t chew his words in Frankfurt. What he said in Paul’s Church yesterday can be regarded as a strong pressure on Germany to change its economic policy course. Every hour this issue gains more momentum in view of the formation of the CDU-SPD coalition government in Berlin. The German socialists have clarified that they will not participate in a government scheme, which will simply continue along the lines followed so far by Angela Merkel.

Maybe the joint pressures, internally from the German socialists, the European Commission and the south Eurozone countries and externally from the US and the IMF will prompt Berlin to really change its course.

 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Facts and prejudices about work

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “No other problem has jeopardised the EU as much as the refugee question” Joachim Gauck, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, cries out from Davos

10 expert predictions for the next decade in Chinese AI

African cooperation on peace ‘increasingly strong’, Security Council told

Time to make a fundamental choice about the future of healthcare

G20 LIVE: “This was not an attack against France, this was an attack against the universal human values!”, EU President Juncker cries out from G20 in Antalya Turkey

The big challenge of leadership and entrepreneurship in Europe

Why Eurozone needs a bit more inflation

Climate change and health: an everyday solution

This NATO experiment used fake Facebook accounts to trick soldiers into sharing sensitive information

Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of L3 Technologies by Harris Corporation, subject to conditions

The art of care goes beyond borders: one has to understand the individual as a whole

A critical European young voice on Net Neutrality: the distance between Brussels and Washington

India can soar in the robot age. This is how

How the tech world could make nonprofits a more powerful force

Which countries have the highest unemployment rates?

Where is Egypt leading the Middle East and the Mediterranean economy?

The vegan economy is booming – and Big Food wants a slice of it

The dangers of data: why the numbers never tell the full story

How the tech sector can power the shift to a sustainable economy

UN monitoring team in Yemen verifies pullout of armed forces from crucial port zones

EU readies for eventual annulment of the Turkish agreement on immigrants-refugees

A young student discusses the determinants of migration in the European Union

The UN supports Europe’s military action in Libya and the Mediterranean; Russia and China agree

Governments should step up their efforts to give people skills to seize opportunities in a digital world

10 months were not enough for the EU to save the environment but 2 days are

This air taxi uses 5G to ‘see’ around corners

Gender Equality as a platform to improve Medicine

The Parliament paves the way for the creation of the European Banking Union

Climate activist Greta Thunberg urges MEPs to put words into action

Here are three ways blockchain can change refugees’ lives

European Citizens’ Initiative: Commission registers ‘End the Cage Age’ initiative

FROM THE FIELD: Watering the parched farmland of São Tomé and Príncipe

In Libya, Guterres ‘deeply concerned’ by risk of fresh military confrontation, urges restraint

Brussels Vs. Google: The €1 bn EU fine and the US response

Service and Sacrifice: Malaysian peacekeepers in Lebanon proud to serve their homeland and the United Nations

World in grip of ‘high impact weather’ as US freezes, Australia sizzles, parts of South America deluged

5 ways to fast-track the transition to a carbon neutral world

EU to spend €6 billion on youth employment and training futile schemes

Suffering of thousands of war-affected Syrian children ‘unprecedented and unacceptable’

Faith can overcome religious nationalism. Here’s how

OECD’s Gurría calls for overhaul of economic thinking to address global challenges

Why today’s leaders need to know about the power of narratives

Youth Forum welcomes positive ruling on non-EU student visas

July was the hottest month ever – what does that actually mean?

Baku forum to push back against ‘rise of hate’ with strong call for cultural and religious tolerance, says UN official

Free and secure access needed in DR Congo conflict zone to tackle Ebola – WHO

The price of centralization of human resources for health

China’s Ambassador to the EU Zhang Ming wishes to Brussels a Happy 2019 Year of the Pig

Ethiopia will soon introduce visa-free travel for all Africans

UN chief hails victory of ‘political will’ in historic Republic of North Macedonia accord

ECB doesn’t dare touch Eurozone’s big banks

UN agencies welcome regional road map to help integrate ‘continuing exodus of Venezuelans’

The essence of care is cosmopolitan

The Schengen area is at a crossroads

WHO and IFMSA as transcendent pillars for world improvement

NHS: A great healthcare system but how accessible is it to migrants?

EU Parliament: A catastrophic crisis management by European leaders

These are the countries that have made their climate commitments law

Gender equality and medicine in the 21st century

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s