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The great heights of European growth came in a quasi-mercantalist time, when post WW2 the USA was the main consumer and other producers (Japan and now China) were not ready to compete with Europe.

This time is buried deep in the German cultural beliefs about economics.

I think Europe is economically doomed to another 10 years at least of stagnation, because for now Germany is in a semi-positive equilibrium.

  • It will be at least 5 years before competition from China starts to ask hard questions of the Mittelstand companies.

  • Under the Euro, German prosperity is underwritten by exporting the negative consequences of mercantilism out to the rest of the Eurozone. It will take at least 5 and I'm guessing 10 years for that destruction to reach a level where the "buffer" is exhausted and the negative effects of mercantilism catch up with the German electorate.

The consequences of this are that economies like Greece and Italy and Spain (and in time, France) will be slowly shrunk. They will grow again in spurts, but each time the brakes are applied the shrinkage will outweigh the growth. Skilled young people who can migrate out, will.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Sep 23rd, 2014 at 04:33:48 AM EST
Metatone:
This time is buried deep in the German cultural beliefs about economics.

It's precisely the time when the key doctrines (and their apparent validation by the "economic miracle") were laid down. Based on Bismarckian practices, (neo)liberal principles, and deeper-rooted myths.

I'm afraid your forecast will turn out to be correct. Unless the extreme right takes over in the meantime.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 23rd, 2014 at 04:57:29 AM EST
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