The End With Horror

No horror here. Or terror, if you prefer. How does that German proverb go? Lieber ein Ende mit Schrecken als ein Schrecken ohne Ende?

That is, better an end with horror than a horror without end. And that’s where we’re at with Greece now, finally.

German Vice Chancellor Philipp Roesler said he’s “very skeptical” that European leaders will be able to rescue Greece and the prospect of the country’s exit from the euro had “lost its terror.”

Get it over with already, people, and move on.

Inferiority Superiority Complex

North, south. Inferiority, superiority. It’s all the same to me.

Germans export more to their European partners than they consume, benefiting from this asymmetrical situation even as they expect everyone else to be exporters and savers like them.

Are We Having A European Lifestyle Yet?

Is this the end of “the European way of life” as we know it?

European leaders have been muddling through instead of properly tackling the debt crisis. Now it threatens the very foundations of the European Union and could destroy a lifestyle that millions of Europeans take for granted.

Funny. I thought taking things for granted was what the European lifestyle was all about.

“We need fiscal discipline because we have a debt problem… No euro bonds as long as I live.”

Our Debt Still Doesn’t Stink

German government debt keeps climbing relentlessly higher and reached an all-time high during the first three months of this year. The federal, state and local governments then reached a debt to the tune of 2 trillion euros.

That was 2.1 percent or 42.3 billion euros higher (deeper?) than  in the previous year’s quarter, reported the Federal Office of Statistics in Wiesbaden on Monday.

Now if only Greece and Co. could learn to control their government spending like the Germans do. Oh, wait. They already have. Or do. Or whatever.

Deutschlands Staatsschulden auf Rekordhoch gestiegen

I Need Your Clothes, Your Boots And Your Motorcycle

Is it termination time yet? For the booming German economy, I mean?

The Spiegel says: German manufacturing activity has hit a three-year low and export orders have also seen a big drop. This data suggests that the crisis is starting to hit the previously robust German economy.

Hasta la vista, baby? Maybe.

Where Have All The Exports Gone?

The ones that used to go to the euro zone, I mean. Wo sind sie geblieben?

German imports tumbled at their fastest rate in two years in April and exports fell, adding to evidence that Europe’s largest economy is beginning to feel the chill from the euro zone debt crisis.

Hey, I’m all for austerity, too, Germany. But when your European partners are too austere to buy your German products, what happens then?

That’s when Plan B kicks in (the German master plan is well thought out, you know, the diabolical #!?§#!s): Exports to non-EU markets are now on the rise.

“German companies feel that foreign demand isn’t as dynamic as it used to be as the global economy is entering a weaker phase. The weakness originates in the euro area, where the debt crisis can no longer be felt only through budget cuts and austerity but increasingly creates uncertainty about economic prospects, which is reflected in weaker investment.”

Privacy Concern Has Its Price

And in this case it will be about 300,000 euros per day.

European authorities have taken Germany to court for failing to implement the E.U. Data Retention Directive.

The European Commission announced on Thursday that it wants the European Court of Justice to impose a fine of just over €315,000 (US$391,866) a day.

The Data Retention Directive requires telephone companies and ISPs to store huge amounts of telecommunications information, including data about email, phone calls and text messages, for law enforcement purposes.

So much for Germany being the Musterschüler (model student) in all things EU. Germans don’t like this law because they live in a POLICE STATE or something (albeit one that’s all in their minds). It’s not that Germans don’t trust their fellow Germans or anything, you see, it’s just that they don’t trust their fellow Germans.

Hey, they should know. Where there’s smoke there’s fire and all that? I guess I’d pay up, too.

Weil Berlin geltendes EU-Gesetz über die Vorratsdatenspeicherung nicht in nationales Recht übertragen hat, hat die EU-Kommission Deutschland vor dem Europäischen Gerichtshof verklagt.

German Tourists Avoiding Greece This Year For Some Reason

German tourists may gladly zip off to some of the most dangerous places on earth you can imagine, but not even they are crazy enough to be heading down to Greece any time soon.

“The Germans aren’t coming here this year but there’s no reason for them to be afraid,” one Greek guy said. “Honest,” he should have added.

“We don’t have a problem with the German people, only their government,” another guy added, who forgot to say “Really.”

“That’s just the way Germans are: if there’s trouble in some country, then Germans just don’t go there on their holidays.”

German Austerity Still Quite A Rarity

Despite all the talk to the contrarity.

The German government didn’t reach even half of its planned savings in the federal budget in 2011. Only 42 percent of the spending cuts named by Merkel’s coalition government, comprised of the conservative Christian Democrats and the business-friendly Free Democratic Party, were actually not implemented…

The government is also falling behind on its targets for this year. Of the originally planned €19.1 billion in savings, less than half has been implemented…

This lapse (in reaching savings targets) is particularly embarrassing for the German government because the news comes just after 25 European Union member states agreed in early March to an international fiscal pact obliging them to adhere to greater fiscal discipline…

The aim of the pact is to make EU countries maintain binding austerity measures that leaders hope will contain the debt crisis and prevent countries like Greece from being able to pile up massive debts again.

And countries like Germany will show them how to do it, see? Next year, maybe. Or the year after that. Hard to say for sure.

 “It (the pact) is a milestone in the history of the European Union.”