Ha, Ha, Ha

A new slogan will make “Europe strong again?” Gemeinsam. Europa wieder stark machen.

Europe

Back off, Trump. Germany wants to Make Europe Strong Again. Berlin’s EU presidency motto has echoes of MAGA.

Slogans, as we all know, are merely slogans. The track record here is what you have to go by and it ain’t pretty. The Eurozone hasn’t even begun to deal with Brexit while Angela Merkel signals submission to France to accept a Schuldenunion (a debt union – paying the debt for Southern European countries – yes, they have a North and a South problem here too) when all of a sudden this little thing we call Corona has prompted Brussels to suggest an $826 billion economic stimulus plan (even more debt)  for a “union” of countries that can’t even protect their borders and that only appears to be unified when it comes to supporting  anything that weakens the United States (see China) and on and on we go but together they will make Europe strong. Again. Again?

Make Europe Strong Again. MESA? All I see is a MESA problems that nobody is prepared to fix.

Austria Doing Germany’s Job Again

Frugality? Refusing to pay other countries’ debts? That was “old Germany.”

Austria

Now the Germans need a country like Austria to take care of the problem for them – just like the Austrians took care of Merkel’s migrant madness by closing their borders way back when.

‘Frugal four’ nations counter Franco-German EU initiative – Four EU countries have teamed up, rejecting Macron and Merkel’s persistent lobbying for a €500 billion rescue fund. Instead, they have their own scheme on how to save Europe from economic fallout amid the pandemic…

The four countries also indicated that they will neither agree to a mutualization of debt nor an increase in the EU budget. Their draft proposal was seen by the German Press Agency (DPA) on Saturday.

“Our objective is to provide temporary, dedicated funding through the EU budgetû and to offer favorable loans to those who have been most severely affected by the crisis.”

German Of The Day: Wiederaufbaufonds

That means reconstruction bonds. Or Eurobonds/Coronabonds light. Or Germany breaking a taboo and knuckling under to France to share debt with other EU countries, if you prefer.

Merkel

It’s hard to keep up with them. Politicians just can’t burn money fast enough these days.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel broke with her country’s longstanding opposition to raising money together with other – often poorer – EU countries. But the proposal made with French President Emmanuel Macron is limited in scale and duration, which could help her sell it to skeptics back home.

It consists of 500 billion euros ($550 billion) in loans and grants to help countries through the recession, and is viewed by some as a step toward stronger EU ties as the 27-country union faces challenges not just from the virus crisis, but from populist forces in member countries Hungary and Poland who want to loosen the bloc’s ties.

Werteunion ruft zu Widerstand gegen Merkel auf.

I Got Your Quantitative Easing For You Right Here, Pal

Imagine that. A nation state (member state) ought to have a say in how its money is spent. What a radical new concept.

Court

Germany’s top court has ruled that the European Central Bank’s mass bond-buying to stabilise the eurozone partly violates the German constitution.

The ruling relates to government debt worth €2.1 trillion (£2tn; $2.3tn) bought by the ECB since 2015, but not purchases in the coronavirus crisis.

The Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe says there is not enough German political oversight in the purchases…

The plaintiffs are a group of German academics, including a former leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), Bernd Lucke. They argue that the purchases violate the EU ban on one eurozone member subsidising the debts of another.

It is now up to the ECB to explain how its mass bond-buying programme is “proportionate”. The Bundesbank could pull out if it is not satisfied, in three months’ time – which would be a big blow to the eurozone.

German Of The Day: Abschwung

That means downturn.

Downturn

German industry hit by biggest downturn since 2009 – Output falls 5.3% in year to October, weighing on eurozone growth outlook.

Germany’s sprawling industrial sector is suffering its steepest downturn for a decade, underlining how the engine of the eurozone’s biggest economy is sputtering.

In der deutschen Industrie geht der Abschwung mit einem schwachen Start ins vierte Quartal weiter. Im Oktober haben die Betriebe ihre Gesamtproduktion erneut deutlich zurückgefahren.

 

Last Man Standing

Only she’s a girl.

Merkel

You have called Angela Merkel the modern-day empress of the eurozone. What do you mean?

The title empress reflects, in my view, two realities of present-day Europe. First, the Germans look so strong because the others look so weak. The British are withdrawing from Europe. The French are down but not out. They’re unable to rev up their economy – same thing for the Italians, same thing for the Spaniards. So, when you add it all up, who is the last man – or in this case, the last woman – standing?

The second reason is more concrete – the Germans have been in the vanguard of driving home fealty to the eurozone’s foundational treaties. These conventions enjoined member states, like Greece, not to overspend and over-borrow and, at the same time, to make their economies more efficient. Merkel and her finance minister are not austerity mongers as everybody is harping on about. They are committed to the original treaties’ stated rules that require eurozone members to reform their economies and become more competitive.

Zum ersten Mal seit 2005 könnte die Union einer Umfrage zufolge die absolute Mehrheit erreichen. Die Partei wäre mit 43 Prozent der Stimmen stärker als all anderen Parteien zusammen.

Gimme A G! Gimme An R!

As time ticks down for a deal, Athens and the lenders remain at odds over how far Greece is willing to bend to meet demands for austerity in exchange for funds desperately needed to avoid a default. The dispute is likely to come to a head by a European summit on June 25, or possibly earlier, at which either Mr. Tsipras or German Chancellor Angela Merkel may have to back down.

GREXIT

In a speech to Syriza party lawmakers, Mr. Tsipras said that Greece cannot accept deeper austerity demands from its international creditors—other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund, accusing them of trying to humiliate the country and the IMF of having “criminal responsibility” for the country’s current economic woes.

Mutti Looks Mad

Some say it has something to do with Greece or something.

Mad

A small majority of Germans now want Greece out of the single currency, while an overwhelming majority believe that Europe shouldn’t offer Athens any new concessions to keep it in the bloc, according to a new poll from the German broadcaster ZDF.

Euroländer bereiten sich auf Griechenland-Pleite vor

Greece Worried Eurozone Could Collapse

And Greece is willing to help.

Tsipras

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras has just pointed out to Merkel, Hollande & Co. that his country, accounting for a whopping 2% of the eurozone’s economy, is now finally ready to lend officials in Brussels all the money they will need in the turbulent times to come. Provided, of course, that they hand it all over to Greece first (along with a couple zillion euros on top for administrative fees).

Let’s get this over with, people.

„Es wäre der Anfang vom Ende der Eurozone.“ Tsipras warnte, dass die Kosten für die europäischen Steuerzahler enorm seien.

 

Dial M For Merkel

And something tells me there was a lot of heavy breathing during this telephone conversation, too.

Tsipras

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made an uncexpected telephone call to German Chancellor Angela Merkel that nobody wants to comment about officially.

Bild newspaper reported on Monday that Tsipras had called Merkel as well as Euro group head Jeroen Dijsselbloem to try to convince them of the need for more help for Greece and for the need for an emergency meeting of EU leaders this week.

Bild said the reason for the call is that the Greek government has run out of money

“It’s on fire and there’s no water there to put out the fire. The situation is more than dramatic.”