Dober komentar Philippa Legrainea v Project Syndicate o tem, kako je Nemčija z merkantilistično politiko “osiromašenja sosedov” na eni ter s spretnim prenosom bremena preveč izpostavljenih nemških bank v javni dolg EU držav na drugi strani dobila kontrolo nad vsemi članicami evro območja. In ta politična hegemonija seveda ni dobra za nikogar, razen za Nemčijo. Sedem let po začetku krize je evro območje še vedno v krizi. Še več, evrska kriza je daljša od Velike depresije. Za izhod iz krize in rešitev svojih gospodarstev se bodo ostale (velike) članice preprosto morale osamosvojiti izpod nemške politične hegemonije in vzpostaviti drugačno unijo. Unijo, temelječo na federalizmu in centralni banki, ki opravlja svojo vlogo v skladu s poslanstvom.
Meni se to sicer zdi utopično in ne verjamem, da je v doglednem času mogoče evrsko unijo preoblikovati v delujoč mehanizem, ki bi omogočal znosno bivanje v uniji vsem članicam. Brez prave fiskalne, transferne in bančne unije to že po definiciji ni možno. Teh pa še dolgo ne bomo imeli, zato je zgolj vprašanje časa, kdaj se se bo presežen “socialni prag bolečine” v posameznih članicah izrazil v vzponu političnih sil, ki bodo zahtevale in dosegle izhod iz mizerije evrske unije.
The eurozone has a German problem. Germany’s beggar-thy-neighbor policies and the broader crisis response that the country has led have proved disastrous. Seven years after the start of the crisis, the eurozone economy is faring worse than Europe did during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The German government’s efforts to crush Greece and force it to abandon the single currency have destabilized the monetary union. As long as German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration continues to abuse its dominant position as creditor-in-chief to advance its narrow interests, the eurozone cannot thrive – and may not survive.
In fact, Germany breaks rules with impunity, changes them to suit its needs, or even invents them at will.
Indeed, even as it pushes others to reform, Germany has ignored the Commission’s recommendations. As a condition of the new eurozone loan program, Germany is forcing Greece to raise its pension age – while it lowers its own. It is insisting that Greek shops open on Sundays, even though German ones do not. Corporatism, it seems, is to be stamped out elsewhere, but protected at home.
Beyond refusing to adjust its economy, Germany has pushed the costs of the crisis onto others. In order to rescue the country’s banks from their bad lending decisions, Merkel breached the Maastricht Treaty’s “no-bailout” rule, which bans member governments from financing their peers, and forced European taxpayers to lend to an insolvent Greece. Likewise, loans by eurozone governments to Ireland, Portugal, and Spain primarily bailed out insolvent local banks – and thus their German creditors.
To make matters worse, in exchange for these loans, Merkel obtained much greater control over all eurozone governments’ budgets through a demand-sapping, democracy-constraining fiscal straitjacket: tougher eurozone rules and a fiscal compact.
The eurozone desperately needs mainstream alternatives to this lopsided “Berlin Consensus,” in which creditors’ interests come first and Germany dominates everyone else. Merkelism is causing economic stagnation, political polarization, and nasty nationalism. France, Italy, and Europeans of all political stripes need to stand up for other visions of what the eurozone should be.
The eurozone’s members are trapped in a miserable marriage, dominated by Germany. But fear is not enough to hold a relationship together forever. Unless Merkel comes to her senses, she will eventually destroy it.
Vir: Philippe Legraine, Project Syndicate