Germany Threatens Europe’s Economy
“New records in German foreign trade are provoking massive international criticism of Berlin’s concentration on exports,” claimed German-Foreign-Policy.com on November 11.
The report was published on Remembrance Day, which recalls the armistice signed by Germany with the Allies formally ending World War i and bringing to an end a conflict that had taken 9 million lives and caused 21 million casualties. Having been a schoolboy educated in one of the British Commonwealth nations, I well recall standing silent at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month year after year in memory of the millions who had sacrificed their lives in the cause of freedom.
Two decades later, Germany again rose to disturb the peace of the world led by their führer, Adolf Hitler, and his National Socialists. The Nazi aggression drew the world powers into a Second World War, resulting in nearly 60 million deaths.
The article continued:
According to reports, the German economy has achieved a foreign trade surplus of €20.4 billion in September—a new record. It is estimated that for 2013, German companies’ exports will exceed by around €200 billion 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 eurozone. Other than the EU Commission threatening Berlin with an official reprimand, the U.S. 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.
But what the German Foreign Policy report did not highlight was the euro’s decisive role in Europe’s crisis. The one-size-fits-all euro allows German exporters to export their goods based on an undervalued currency. Meanwhile southern nations are trying to export goods based on an overvalued currency. This has created a imbalance that works in Germany’s favor—but that is now also destabilizing much of Europe. So far Germany has not shown much of a willingness to make the changes necessary to resolve this problem.
Europe and America have forgotten the words of Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill near the close of World War ii in their joint declaration: “It is our inflexible purpose to destroy German militarism and Nazism and to ensure that Germany will never again be able to disturb the peace of the world.”
They didn’t stop with that, but continued, “We are determined to disarm and disband all German armed forces, break up for all time the German General Staff that has repeatedly contrived the resurgence of German militarism; remove or destroy all German military equipment; eliminate or control all German industry that could be used for military production.”
“It is not our purpose to destroy the people of Germany,” wrote the two world leaders, “but only when Nazism and militarism have been extirpated will there be hope for a decent life for Germans and a place for them in the community of nations.”
What few point to is the hard reality that Germany’s economic tactics of dominance have expanded its global power and influence in addition to its unchecked expanding international arms industry. The last time this happened, it led to disaster for the world. This time do we expect it will bring anything different?
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