The German model “is over”

For years, Germany was considered unbeatable in the EU. But perception has changed. “The model Germany isch over”, one could say with the (still) most popular German politician.

Wolfgang Schäuble would never pronounce it so clearly, of course. But the largest economy in the Eurozone is on the verge of recession, and the CDU politician has left a heavy legacy to his successor in office.

Those who still didn’t want to believe have been disabused by the latest company reports. First, the merger between Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank failed. Germany does not get a “national champion”.

Then the Bayer shareholders refused to approve the actions of their Board of Management. A hitherto unthinkable and unique process – which shows that even large companies are doing badly. Volkswagen sends its greetings.

The crisis has two consequences for the EU. Firstly, Germany is no longer an “economic locomotive”. As a result, Berlin can no longer set the course as before and demand blind support.

On the other hand, criticism of Germany’s austerity policy is becoming louder. France, in particular, is increasingly upbeat – and is calling for the strict debt rules to be relaxed in order to facilitate state investment.

The German model is “à bout de souffle”, i.e. completely out of breath and exhausted, according to a recent editorial by “Le Monde”. This is a good opportunity to change the rules.

Unlike in the past, Paris has recently found allies in Berlin. For even in the German capital a debate has begun about the sense and nonsense of the debt brake.

Even Michael Hüther, director of the neoliberal Institute of the German Economy, has described the debt brake as “out of date”…

Translated with