There are those who believe, like Macron, that Germany’s 8.8% trade surplus is damaging the Eurozone economy. “4% could be justified; but not 8%”, says IMF head Christine Lagarde. The problem is not that Germany exports a lot, but that it imports very little.
Articles by Lidia Conde
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With a very low jobless rate (5,8%), Germany is growing for the eighth year in a row. This is allowing it to attract capital and qualified workers. Even so, the future of the jobs market is a concern, and a key issue in this Autumn’s elections.
“…One of the reasons for the high level of youth unemployment in Spain has to do with the fact that companies hardly get involved in the dual training system,” explains Hermann Simon the chairman of Simon-Kucher, the preferred consultancy firm of the “hidden champions,” those German mid-cap companies which compete globally. “Spain’s level of innovation is very weak…the whole country cannot live just off tourism services.”
“In principal, the euro is a good idea. The aim is to create a big economic space without any monetary barriers, like the US. But a common space implies that member states are prepared to take each other into consideration as far as their economic, financial and wage policies are concerned,” says Peter Bofinger, one of the five ‘wise men’ who make up the German Council of Economic Experts.
Germany is a country of travellers. Three out of every four people go on holiday at least once a year. And Spain is their main foreign destination: over 10 million Germans visit the country on an annual basis – spending almost 10 billion euros – running a close second to the number of UK tourists to Spain. Almost half of them travel with a package deal from TUI, world leader in the sector. Sebastian Ebel is the CEO of TUI Germany.
The migrant crisis has taken over German politics, although it is just one of the many issues concerning the European central power. The future of the euro is still pending. But some economists believe that the right-wing AFD party’s demand for the European process to be stopped is nonsense.
The refugee crisis shows no respect for pacts. Not even the stability pact, which is difficult to enforce when many countries vote for change facing an economy without growth. It’s easier to wait for money from heaven.
After the 2006 publication of his book “The Crash is Coming,” economist Max Otte became famous. In 2011 he launched another best seller, “Stop the Euro Disaster!,” which signalled the exit of Greece from the euro area and recommended that Spain return to the peseta. Otte has always argued that the euro has not united Europe.
The conservative members of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Party (CDU) do not understand that she does not want to put a limit on the number of refugees. And now even her coalition partner in Berlin, the Social Democrats, criticise her for underestimating the scale of the challenge. So to what extent will Merkel be able to impose her ideas? Who can replace her? Is it a viable proposition to integrate all asylum seekers who arrive in Europe?
Michael Wolgemuth, board member at Germany’s Konrad Adenauer Foundation thinks it will take time for there to be reconciliation eventually between creditors and debtors in the euro area. The key is to know and regulate what both parties need to take into account in the event of a state becoming insolvent.