Newsletter 2010/03/16 - Breaking a Taboo
PARIS/BERLIN (Own report) - Paris is protesting Germany's growing economic hegemony over the EU with unusual bluntness. France's finance minister declared in a newspaper interview that, for years, Berlin has been forcefully implementing its export offensive at the expense of other Euro countries. As can now be seen in Greece, this German trade surplus is pushing these countries into a crisis and may be unsustainable for them in the long run. After years of cutting wages and social welfare services, Berlin should consider boosting its domestic demand. The German government is resolutely rejecting these French demands, which are supported by other Euro countries and thereby exacerbating the dispute. When the German finance minister presented his plan for a European Monetary Fund in Brussels on Monday, which would pressure other Euro countries to follow the German example of austerity measures, he was met with resistance. With its austerity measures, Germany would like to be able to continue to economically compete with the world powers and forge itself a sufficient economic foundation to be a world power.