Now here’s a funny thing, missus. Go to the EFSF ‘explanation’ thing as issued by the European Bunion, and scroll down to the table on who the biggest contributors are to it.
Unsurprisingly, Germany is first and France second. But look who’s running close behind them: Italy and Spain. Now let’s be real about this, does anyone see Italy and Spain as in a position to bail out Greece, Portugal and Ireland? No, me neither.
So while Berlin continues to moan neurotically on about how much the rest of Europe is asking of it, think on these facts: first, from being itself an exporting basket case in 2003-4, Germany has reaped the benefit of an artificially cheap currency since then; and second, while Berlin is responsible for more eurozone debt repayment than most, it is far from being solely responsible. These are the percentages:
Now then, my little Berliners, you can’t have it every which way. That is to say, you can’t argue that everything is down to you, but you also want everyone in the dock with you….and with several reponsibility, but not individual responsibility as per the Berlin FinMin proposal leaked last week with a degree of deliberate spin intention.
You might want to argue it that way, but the all-knowing Slog will find you out.
The evidenced truth is that Berlin, under the EFSF conversion into ‘something more permanent’, will be responsible for under a third of all ezone debts. Compare that, my friends, to what their relative gain has been during a decade of export bonanza uderwritten by an articially cheap euromark. And when you hear Onkel Wolfie und Tante Geli droning on about how they have the thankless task of carrying the can, just bear in mind what life is going to be like in the Fiskal Redemption Correction Clinic to which the other sixteen are now committed…including poor blackmailed/deluded Ireland, helplessly broke Portugal, and necrophilically raped Greece.
The politics will be marched onward by Merkel, while the disabled Schäuble will dictate the finances. Yes, of course there is a degree of speculation involved for the Germans. But they are speculating to accumulate…and the accumulation of power now almost within their grasp is awesome.
One is left wondering what the Foreign Office mandarin wonks are up to…if anything.