Germany: Topsy-turvy world (II)

In this context, Jean-Claude Juncker’s proposal of boosting growth by means of a European fund arouses scepticism in Germany. For Berlin, the ECB’s and European Commission’s rushing ahead is not convenient. Jean-Claude Juncker wants to boost growth via investments with guarantees up to €315 billion. That’s why the Vice-President, Jyrki Katainen, is looking for private investors all around the world –because there has not been investment in Europe for 6 years.

Foreign direct investments have fallen by half in the last five years, whereas unemployment remains at 11%. Meanwhile, many international investors don’t know what to do with their money. Mr Juncker’s Invest In Europe initiative wants to convince investors through guarantees. A fund from the European Investment Bank will be partly responsible for possible losses. The answer from Angela Merkel and Wolfgang Schäuble was this:

“What is the point of displaying huge sums that are unable to flow?” This comment makes sense, if we take into account that out of the €6 billion from the program against the youth unemployment in Europe, only 15 have been used since it was approved in 2013.

Besides, the scarce inflation and the anaemic growth are the logical answer to the budgetary reform and the structural reforms from the most affected countries during the crisis –according to some market watchers. But this doesn’t mean that Mr Juncker is wrong. In general, the specialised press praises that Mr Juncker wants to intervene only in projects with an economic sense and use both private and public capital.

However, for Germany what is happening in Japan is a nightmare. They also consider a nightmare the proposal of the Friedmanian helicopter thrown from Oxford, which –according to the ECB, is only “an interesting academic issue.”  It is an appalling conclusion to imply that working is useless, as well as saving money, because the classic saving technique doesn’t work in a world of rock-bottom rates.

“It is an horrid vision, an attack against one of the qualities of our nation,” says Helmut Schneider when talking about the savings account (which is the favourite bedside book of the Germans). Nothing is as it used to be. This is the topsy-turvy world.

About the Author

Lidia Conde
She studied journalism at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Since 1991, Lidia lives and works in Germany as a correspondent for several Spanish newspapers, in which she has covered the fall of the Berlin Wall and the German reunification. Seeking an answer to how Europe could become competitive and fair, too.

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