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Does Germany have the courage to lead?

Time is dragging on and yet another round of summits passes by with political leaders still posturing, seemingly unable to agree policies or implement anything that will tackle the global economic problems, in the short and long term. This is most critical in the Eurozone, where it has the look of a battleground for the global economic downturn. To a degree it’s almost a matter of solve the Euro crisis and solve the global crisis as so much of the global economies are affected by the events in Europe. Speculators confidence is spiralling down and nothing so far has been able to stem the tide. Investors remain out of the market and are receiving no encouragement whatsoever to release the mountains of funds, which they would have done in the past, under more normal conditions.

It is however, the inaction and the ineffective leadership in Europe, in facing up to the difficult decisions that are urgently needed, which is preventing the rest of the world from moving into a long term growth phase or at least implementing measures that create the possibility of a growth phase.

We now see China and other strong emerging economies slowing and with the USA, are in a stop start mode, leaving the global financial system rocking, with severe regulatory pressures and predictable lack of political leadership.   This is all part of the same problem and is causing volatile markets, recessive economies and a breakdown of society’s confidence in the markets and the political capability to introduce immediate relief and long term plans to solve the disease rather than treat the symptoms.

All the measures to date, with billions and billions of Euros propping up countries sovereign debt and the mass of ailing banks has had virtually no impact in solving the real problems. Only delaying what looks like the inevitable breakup of the Euro and quite feasibly the EU, or at least a massive shrinkage to only those countries able to create fiscal union. Virtually back to the original countries that made up the trading block after the Second World War.

Central to the direction or the future Europe has, is Germany. It is the German economy that only has the strength to be part of the overall solution? It is for Germany to decide what Europe we will see in the future? A future with the Euro or not? A smaller EU or not? German fiscal management and culture to create an EU economic miracle, (for that’s what it looks like) or not? Cut loose all those weak countries in the Euro or not?

The German people have in the past shown a remarkable resolve to recover from adversity, whether economically, or in its society, or when losing football matches. There is a steely determination to overcome and build better and more rewarding lives for their people. Most recently seen with the reunification of Germany and the impressive rebuild of their economy in such short time. This has been paid for by the hard sweat of people accepting lower living standards today for a better future tomorrow. Now Europe needs them to do this all over again. Are the German people willing to step up and lead ailing Europe to the Promised Land?

It’s a tough call for Germany. Politically Merkal is running scarred of presenting such a solution and future. Elections are looming in Germany and this would be a highly unpopular for most Germans. Can the German people see the bigger picture? It’s a difficult sell and perhaps too much to ask.

Europe needs a courageous Germany and a new resolve to lead towards a future that creates the original European ideal of a strong economic trading block, with harmonious cultures all working towards a secure and happy future for all their citizens.

The EU structure to day is in ruins with political divides and soon a breakdown of society. The mistakes of the past must be recognised and this may require a back to square one approach and a redrawing of the objectives, based on what we know today,

It is Germany that is pivotal to what future we have in Europe, but does it have the courage to lead?


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