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Seems to me that if Germany has a globally competitive economy, there's not much that the rest of Europe can do about it.

i agree, the rest of europe can suck eggs, from their point of view, the periphery is tapped out as luxury goods market asia and brazil can keep them in the style they're accustomed to.

and just to balance out the germany bashing here a bit, it's not their fault that the PIIGS are less responsible, civic minded, industrious or thrifty, and more corrupt, but it was tolerable when there was money to be made, during which period the euro was a convenient tool, now no longer necessary.

it's not that they want to throw the rest under the bus, it's just time to move on to more avid market, and for that the PIIGS are so much ballast to be jettisoned, nothing personal, just bidnis...

the vaunted european union of common cause was probably a convenient fiction for the movers and shakers all along. that fiction was perceived as reality by millions of dewy eyed believers (myself included), and now there is a huge bureaucracy of EU technocrats geared to protect and ameliorate the lives and rights of EU citizens, setting a good example for the world in many fields, such as alt energy. you're not going to be able to crash all that good will and earnest politicking very easily.

what will be telling is if, faced with the great leap backward that the european state collapsing would be, if enough populist goodwill for the ideal european union project could build to thwart the purely mercenary motives spawned by the neo-lib political capture of those even token leftwing parties here.

i pray that the fiction, born to delude, will have planted itself into so many citizens that they are willing to peacefully take to the streets, to force the hand of those who thought they could dangle a dream in front of gullible, wartorn millions, and then jerk it away as soon as a whole generation has been raised as much 'european' as french or german etc.

perhaps then pols will learn a lesson about keeping promises... europe may need to almost completely founder before mass consciousness awakes to realise what we are in danger of losing, when we had barely begun.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Aug 31st, 2011 at 08:07:03 PM EST
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some people seem to forget that Germany still exports more to Belgium (or Italy, or, of course, France) than to China...

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Sep 2nd, 2011 at 08:39:06 AM EST
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