As the "Russian service BBC", “Alternative for Germany”, established in March of 2013, calls for abandoning the euro. Eurozone countries must return to their currencies.
At the first congress, one and a half thousand of its participants met with enthusiasm the performance of their leader Bernd Luke. “Because of the euro, residents of southern Europe feel free to express their contempt for Germany using comparisons with the Nazis,” he said. “Eurocurrency has been a fiasco, and it will be wrong to continue to believe in a fairy tale.”
Despite the categorical assertions of Chancellor Merkel, who believes that Europe can stagger when the euro crashes, Comrade Luke is convinced that if the Eurocurrency collapses, then Europe will stand. He believes that financial assistance to the countries of Southern Europe will not solve their problems, but will only aggravate them. Along with this, he stresses that his party does not oppose European unity.
Earlier in an interview with the same BBC Professor Luke noted that because of the single currency, it is more difficult for Europe to cope with the financial crisis. Some countries experiencing problems with competitiveness need to be devalued, he says, but in the current situation it is impossible.
Today, Alternative for Germany was able to enlist the support of a number of academicians and disillusioned members of the CDU. The movement of Professor Luke is going to seek a national referendum - on the Swiss model (regarding decisions taken by the European Union, including the allocation of packages of economic assistance to other countries).
True, according to the latest April poll, only 7% of Germans are ready to vote for this game. However, another 17% of respondents reflects on this possibility. Analysts of the BBC express doubts that the party will manage to overcome the 5% barrier in the September elections. Experts, however, note that popular Angela Merkel will still have to “go through a very narrow path between those who are already tired of the constant need to help the poorer countries in the eurozone and those who support Germany’s efforts to preserve the single currency.”
With regard to reducing the competitiveness of some countries belonging to the eurozone, then the "VO" has already been reported about it. We are talking about the so-called "peripheral countries", which not only are experiencing a financial crisis today, but who are facing serious economic problems in the near future.
Recall that the three comrades - Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde, an employee of the University of Pennsylvania, Luis Garicano, an employee of the London School of Economics, Tano Santos, a graduate student at the Business School of Columbia University (New York) - collaborating with The National Bureau of Economic Research, that is, the National Bureau of Economic Research (Massachusetts), wrote a voluminous composition on the crisis in the eurozone.
The authors of the document stated that the adoption of the euro currency did not advance the economy of the European periphery countries, but only delayed the inevitable crisis and then led to a worsening of the situation. The economies of these countries, which received a prolongation of loans and thus a postponement of the moment when the speculative “bubbles” burst, actually returned to the old bad financial state. To the "peripheral" countries, analysts attributed Greece, Spain, Ireland and Portugal.
Earlier, before the introduction of the euro, these same peripheral countries used devaluation, the authors write to recover from the effects of adverse business cycles, which, however, did not improve the basic volatility of their economies. With the euro, there has been a deterioration in the sense that it has become impossible to apply the devaluation policy. The single currency, the euro, envisioned a single currency and tax policy, which prompted social agents to change their macroeconomic decisions, which were previously often based on inflation.
So, the euro made it impossible for the financial game to depreciate its own currency, which once helped in crises better than any loans and rescue programs.
But the new reality has helped someone else in Europe, economists say. Germany’s rather stagnant economy at that time, faced with the Maastricht agreements, really embarked on the path of structural reforms, thereby reviving its exports. But what happened in Germany did not work for the peripheral countries.
So, Germany is good; peripheral countries are bad. That is, the rich have become richer, the poor - poorer. Nothing like? That's it.
But in recent years, such a tense economic and political situation has developed in the eurozone that the rich have become dissatisfied with life. Even those who, taking advantage of the position of a prosperous country, should have rejoiced at the increasing political power - after all, politics is following the economy, and not vice versa - now they don’t want to live as before and are ready to abandon the euro. That is why Professor Luke’s party is so popular. Many Germans do not believe that they should finance the impoverished countries of the European Union. How much can you really? Angela Merkel is one thing, this is power, but ordinary Germans are completely different, this is people. Do they want another "Reich" in Europe, a big question. And the chancellor, whether she wants to or not, will have to take their opinion into account. Their growing, growing opinion. Opinion of those who call themselves "eurosceptics".
Correspondent "Voices of Russia" Sergey Duz revealed the main trend in the statements of the current European skeptics. The author of the report informs that the main idea, which runs through in numerous expert conclusions and political discussions, is that the eurozone must be either reformed or disbanded.
Scientist and writer Konrad Adam, one of the leaders of the “Alternative for Germany”, believes that there is a need for an open discussion in society about measures to save the economies of the EU countries:
“We are confident that the continued presence of Germany in the current monetary union is expensive. More expensive than the decision to end this failed experiment. You will have to pay dearly in any case, but if we don’t step out of this wrong path, this price will only increase. The exit from the eurozone is not a loss for Germany, but a gain. ”
Comrade Adam considers it unacceptable that for the sake of the dubious expediency of saving the euro hundreds of billions are thrown to the wind. Euroskeptics criticize official Berlin, ignoring the option of returning to the mark or to small currency unions within Europe.
Vladislav Belov, head of the Center for German Studies, Head of the Department of Countries and Regions at the Institute of Europe, RAS, believes that the eurozone should have relied on a narrow circle of countries capable of ensuring currency stability. But its expansion to Portugal, Spain, Greece (countries that could not boast of financial discipline) was a gross mistake. Now there is a payment on the accounts 14-year-old.
Nevertheless, Vladislav Belov believes that the eurozone will remain as a political confederation - in a larger or smaller composition.
A curious opinion was expressed by Grigory Guselnikov, managing partner of the London-based company G2 Capital Partners. In fact, he cited evidence of the "death" of the euro.
He proposed to study the dynamics of beer prices in the EU. It becomes clear that the price of beer in Germany over the past 15 years has not changed much, but it jumped in Greece and Italy. That is, the meaning of the single currency zone - a person should be able to buy the same product for a similar amount - destroyed. Prices in Europe today are different. Consequently, the single currency no longer exists. It remains only to express it formally.
As for the rich Germans, there is a limit to wealth. Mikhail Khazin notes that European outsiders should have remained almost the entire world. It will be difficult for Berlin to explain to the German man in the street why he must lower his standard of living in order to pay the Bulgarian or Latvian debts to American banks.
The meaning of EU enlargement for Germany was in guaranteed sales markets. At the same time, Germany’s contribution to the EU budget came back: there was a demand for German goods in the “small” EU countries. Now the situation has changed: the money that goes to the EU budget from Germany is gone forever: the poor periphery buys cheap food and clothes on them. There was no expensive German goods in the budget category. The expert concludes that either the EU will take a political decision that unity is most important, and in this case everyone must pay, pay and pay again, or the economic start will prevail, and then the EU will not become on the world map.
Against the backdrop of lively speeches by European skeptics, desperate European officials, who for understandable reasons want to save the EU in one form or another, also put forward some original ideas.
Ekaterina Metelitsa (Slon.ru), referring to the TV and Radio Company RTBF, spoke about the “idea of the day”: plans to create a “new euro” by Germany and the Netherlands.
The idea of a new “Eurozone” with a new currency was expressed by the ex-European Commissioner for the domestic market Fritz Bolkestein. This Dutchman offers strong and creditworthy (for the present) EU countries to introduce a new currency that would exist in parallel with the euro.
Mr. Bolkestein believes that the issuer of the new currency should be the Central Bank of Germany, and the Netherlands will join the established monetary union. France will not allow Bolkestein into his “eurozone”: this country, in his opinion, is “poorly controlled” and is already “practically bankrupt”.
What will be the name of the new currency? How how…. Mark.
Bolkestein is sure: even if the authorities of the strongest Euro-regions do not decide on such a step now, sooner or later the idea of a new euro will still become reality. “In five years they will speak differently,” said Fritz, adding that Europe is experiencing only the initial stage of the financial crisis.
Catherine Metelitsa recalls that the idea of a "new euro" does not belong to Bolcestein. Last summer, Marcus Kerber, a professor at the Technical University of Berlin, proposed to unite in a new currency bloc to competitive countries.
I wonder what name herr Kerber offered for the new currency?
In his opinion, it should be called Guldenmark.
In addition to Germany and the Netherlands, Finland, Austria and Luxembourg will have to join the new union. And the old euro, according to the idea of Kerber, should be devalued. Inflation will smooth out differences in competitiveness between prosperous and peripheral countries.
Thus, euro skeptics predict the near collapse of the euro. Many experts consider the adoption of the euro in peripheral countries as the main economic mistake of the creators of the single currency, which prevented not only the devaluation of the national currency with the aim of eliminating the crisis, but also made it impossible to conduct its own monetary policy. The political situation in Europe, including Germany, also serves as a factor of instability. More and more voices are being voiced, dissatisfied with the German “feeding” policy of the rapidly impoverished euro periphery. The popularity of Angela Merkel, firmly guarding the EU and the single euro currency, can be significantly dropped by the smart and scholars of the Alternative for Germany party. The movement was created only a month and a half ago, and already managed to win the hearts of voters. Almost every fourth representative of the electorate today either shares the ideas of the “alternatives” or sympathizes with them. And the official Berlin cannot pass by this movement.
Observed and translated by Oleg Chuvakin
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