German egotistic inward turn to badly hurt Europe after Merkel’s exit

On 18 January 1991 Angela Merkel, then 36 years old, gets her first government job as Federal Minister for Women and Youth in Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s Cabinet. Photo: Federal Government/Christian Stutterheim.

Angela Merkel’s era in Germany definitely comes to an end. It coincides, not necessarily in a causal manner, with the extreme right and xenophobic rising tendencies in the country’s political and social structures. These developments will put not only Germany to a political limbo but they will also freeze the progress of the European Union project. A waned Merkel said she will soon step down from her CDU party leadership but added she would like to remain in the Chancellery, until the next general election of September 2021.

While her departure from the Christian Democrats’ helm is then certain, Merkel’s wish to remain as Chancellor during the next three years looks like a highly uncertain project. All the possible successors in CDU’s Presidency would surely for many reasons be reluctant to follow her European agenda. This discrepancy, then, would most likely be resolved at Merkel’s political expense.

New CDU leadership

By the same token, the new CDU leadership would scrap her plans for Germany to spend just a bit more for Eurozone’s consolidation. And that, despite the strong reserves by many, that the euro money doesn’t serve all the euro area member states in the same positive way, as it does for Germany. Yet, no Christian Democrat leader would dare fight the next electoral campaign with a plan to help euro area work profitably for everybody.

The much discussed issue of Eurobonds or the creation of a powerful fiscal instrument under a Eurozone minister of Economics and a common bank deposits guarantee scheme, will be dangerous stuff in Germany. After Merkel, the German political system s won’t even discuss those giant European steps. The country seems complacent watching the EU project freeze. The vast majority of voters don’t understand that the profitable arrangement for Germany cannot last for long. The Italian rebellion is a strong indication where Europe is now heading. Rome is not going to give in to pressures from Brussels and Berlin, at least not before the May 2019 European election.

A complacent German society

The Germans, then will understand what a grave danger for their complacence, a rebellious Europe can be. Accustomed to more than full employment and huge surpluses, the Germans will find it difficult to adjust to a politically hostile for Berlin euro area. Not to forget they are quite unable to react logically and coherently in a real crisis. The 2008-2010 financial meltdown didn’t really threatened Germany at all, the country being inundate with cash. Nevertheless, Berlin bailed out the banks without even asking permission from Brussels.

The last time the Germans had to deal with a real crisis, which badly dented their well being, they drove Europe and the world to hell…If Germany had suffered the unemployment rates which ravage Greece, Italy, Spain, France, Croatia, Cyprus, Finland and other euro area countries would have already produced another One Thousand Years Reich.

France cannot wait any more

The French President Emmanuel Macron has been waiting for more than a year now for a German response to his proposals for the badly needed consolidation of Eurozone. He simply proposes “a much stronger euro area, more integrated, with its own budget which will support investments and convergence because this is the only means to open the way to all member states who wish go forwards, to go in this direction”. This is what he said from Aix-la-Chapelle, on 11 May 2018 while receiving the Charlemagne Prize.

Merkel replied Germany can discuss a much watered down version of a Eurozone Budget. Unfortunately, she was blocked by her own party on that. And this happened before her losing one third of CDU’s vote in the Bavarian mid-October election and last Sunday in Hesse. Germany remains happy to continue taking advantage of the Customs Union, the huge Internal Market and the single euro money.

Surpluses and deficits

The most affluent country with no visible real problems whatsoever, obstinately denies to recognize her obligations towards its euro area partners, who’s deficits constitute Germany’s surpluses. The problem is that the German voters have been poisoned, with the venom about ‘the lazy Southerners who want Germany to pay for their debts’.

Certain German power circles have favored the anti-Greek propaganda in the difficult years of 2012-2015 and repeat the same ‘technique’ now with Italy. Surely this triggers anti-German sentiments in the South, which may lead to a Southern wide rebellion. Spain and Portugal could join Italy in that. Greece and Cyprus having already paid the dear price and would rather not follow. Still, the May 2019 election may produce more rebellious euro area member states.

No cooperative successor

With Angela Merkel’s conciliating powers disappearing, there is no other political figure shining in the German political horizon, able or willing to play the cooperation card. It’s not a personal issue of Merkel losing her touch. It’s the logical outcome of twenty years of economic neo-liberalism, without however this leading also to political liberalism and real internationalism with fruits for all.

Against this background, the current wave of isolationism and fear for the future is now touching the middle classes, after EU’s internal economic globalization devastated one third of the population even in Germany. That’s why the rising extreme rightwing political groups thrived on anti-immigration nationalistic platforms and are now knocking on the door of the middle classes.
Growing conservatism

CDU’s youth organization is criticizing Angela Merkel from the right. The young Christian Democrats are today much more conservative, nationalistic and xenophobic than their baby-boomer parents. The problem is the immigration crisis is not settling down. Africa and the Middle East will continue producing immigrants and refugees in growing numbers. If nothing changes, the European middle classes will soon become aggressive, nationalistic and unworldly.

In conclusion, the problem is not that Merkel won’t be around after a few years, and probably sooner than September 2021. The euro money as it is structured now cannot any more fit all the euro area member states. Germany has to recognize it and start investing and spending on consumption her hoarded surpluses all over Eurozone, as the US did in the post WWII era which Trump is now reversing. In this light, the May, 2019 election results will be a good lesson to read.

 

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

FROM THE FIELD: ‘A piece of me’ was taken

Companies ‘failing’ to address offline harm incited by online hate: UN expert

Facilitating the access to finance and risk capital for SMEs and midcaps

Easing US-China trade tensions could save millions of jobs: Asia-Pacific UN report

UN rights experts call on Russia to release Ukrainian film-maker whose life is in ‘imminent danger’

The Netherlands is paying people to cycle to work

10 of Albert Einstein’s best quotes

More bank bailouts at taxpayers’ expenses

Water supply a human right but Greeks to lose their functioning utilities

Health is nothing but the main consequence of climate change

Two peacekeepers killed in an attack against UN convoy in Mali

More, not less, multilateralism is needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic

The decline of our oceans is accelerating, but it’s not too late to stop it

3 ways blockchain can accelerate sustainable development

The business case for diversity in the workplace is now overwhelming

Why do medical students seek for work abroad?

Why are the financial markets shivering again?

COVID-19 is more deadly for some ethnic groups

Why Europe is more competitive than the US

IMF: Sorry Greece it was a mistake of 11% of your GDP

UN underscores the need to celebrate indigenous peoples, not confine them

‘Step backwards’ for Bosnia’s autonomous Serb region as assembly reneges on Srebrenica genocide report

Parliament to vote on new European Commission on 27 November

Here are 3 alternative visions for the future of work

MEPs want to fund crucial areas to stimulate European growth

Discrimination in the medical curriculum: are medical schools providing students with equal access to the medical profession?

As Marvel’s first comic book fetches $1.26 million, here are five things to know about the superhero business

EU4FairWork: Commission launches campaign to tackle undeclared work

3 reasons why AI won’t replace human translators… yet

OECD economic scenarios to 2060 illustrate the long-run benefits of structural reforms

European Defence Fund on track with €525 million for Eurodrone and other joint research and industrial projects

UN rights office calls for action to end ‘repression and retaliation’ in crisis-torn Nicaragua

UN Climate Action Summit concludes with insufficient EU and global pledges

Greek-Turkish border: MEPs reject Turkey’s pressure, demand common asylum rules

How to turn a traditional business into a platform-based success

MWC 2016 LIVE: Ford trumpets new in-vehicle system, “fundamentally rethinks” transportation

China-EU Relations: Broader, Higher and Stronger

Monday’s Daily Brief: global homicide figures, neo-Nazi recruitment, Kashmir, and migrants’ plight in USA

World ‘not yet on track’ to ensure children a better future: UN rights chief

EU approves close to €240 million to strengthen resilience in neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees in light of the coronavirus pandemic

Why medical students decide to study abroad?

Humanitarian migration falls while labour and family migration rises

Here’s how to achieve an optimal student/tutor ratio

Plastic Oceans: MEPs back EU ban on polluting throwaway plastics by 2021

“America first” policy goes against EU-US partnership, say MEPs

The planet’s health is our health: why healthcare must go green

How do we build trust between humans and AI?

At this Italian bookshop, children swap their recycling for something to read

Posting of workers: final vote on equal pay and working conditions

Cambodia loses duty-free access to the EU market over human rights concerns

This is where obesity places the biggest burden on healthcare

Statistics show the ugly face of youth training schemes

Vaccination: European Commission and World Health Organization join forces to promote the benefits of vaccines

Cameron readies to support ‘yes’ for Britain in the EU

New Zealand Prime Minister opens door to 4-day working week

Will Merkel ever steer the EU migration Titanic and restore her power in Germany?

3.7 million lives could be saved by 2025 if health services ramp up nutrition actions: WHO

How to create a world where healthcare is a right, not a luxury

Closing VAT loopholes for sales through online platforms

This massive project in Spain is the latest milestone in Europe’s solar power boom

More Stings?

Advertising

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