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Germany, Forced to Buoy Greece, Rues Euro Shift

As Europe edges toward emergency guarantees to stem market panic over one of the most profligate members of the euro bloc, the country that the region turns to for leadership, Germany, is suffering from growing doubts about the European experiment it long championed.

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The apprehension in Germany runs much deeper than a single crisis. It comes in the same week that Germany gave up its most cherished title, world export champion, to China, heightening fears of a declining stature and importance globally.

Germany also faces a demographic challenge, managing a population that is not only graying but shrinking. Last month the government announced that the population dropped below 82 million last year for the first time since 1995. That means fewer people trying to pay off a growing national debt, with a projected budget deficit of $118 billion this year.

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In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 11th, 2010 at 12:58:51 PM EST

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