Germany: France is “Europe’s biggest problem child”

posted at 8:01 pm on April 30, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Last week, French President Francois Hollande’s Socialist administration accidentally let slip a draft policy paper in which they accused German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her ilk’s “egotistical intransigence,” “selfish” austerity policies, and “liberal free trade interests” as the driving factors responsible for turning a small fiscal problem in Greece into the now widespread and ongoing European debt crisis.

Says Germany: Have some cheese with that whine.

A leaked internal briefing from German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition partner, the Free Democrats, calls French President Francois Hollande “meandering” and says that, because of its highly regulated labor market and generous welfare provisions, France is now “Europe’s biggest problem child.” The briefing was published in the German financial daily Handelsblatt alongside another leaked document, a harsh evaluation by the German economics ministry of the French economy’s failings.

“French industry is increasingly losing its competitiveness. The relocation of companies abroad continues. Profitability is meager,” the ministry’s report said. …

So far, the public response from the German government has been muted. Merkel’s spokesman dismissed the unflattering French characterization of her as “background music.”

You know, France, you might consider pausing to ask yourselves why it is that you’re in your current position, and Germany is doing relatively so much better than you are; you don’t suppose it might be because of your terrible fiscal and economic policies, could it? Go on a take a little credit, why don’t you.

Meanwhile, while the French-German relationship deteriorates, the stagnating European economic picture doesn’t seem to be improving; the eurozone has just hit a record-high unemployment rate, reports the BBC:

Unemployment in the 17 countries using the euro hit 12.1% in March, up from February’s 12%, according to official figures from Eurostat.

In total, 19.2m people are now out of work in the region.

Separate Eurostat data showed that inflation slowed to 1.2% in April.

Greece and Spain recorded the highest unemployment rates in the eurozone, at 27.2% and 26.7% respectively, while Austria, at 4.7%, and Germany, at 5.4%, had the lowest rates.

Youth employment, defined as those under 25, hit 3.6 million in the eurozone. In Greece, 59.1% of under-25s were unemployed as of the end of January, while in Spain, 55.9% were unemployed.


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Duh..

Electrongod on April 30, 2013 at 8:04 PM

If those two go at it, I can only hope The Chosen One will keep us OUT of it!

GarandFan on April 30, 2013 at 8:04 PM

Germany: France is “Europe’s biggest problem child”

Uh-Oh!!

they accused German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her ilk’s “egotistical intransigence,” “selfish” austerity policies, and “liberal free trade interests” as the driving factors responsible for turning a small fiscal problem in Greece into the now widespread and ongoing European debt crisis.

Take note HA liberal zipperheads..this is how REAL, dyed in the wool socialist retards think…

Y’all are pikers.

BigWyo on April 30, 2013 at 8:07 PM

while Austria, at 4.7%, and Germany, at 5.4%, had the lowest rates.

Obama needs to phone in another speech..

Electrongod on April 30, 2013 at 8:07 PM

Just launch some multi colored balloons their way. Total surrender.

msupertas on April 30, 2013 at 8:20 PM

There’s no vichy left? There should be.

wolly4321 on April 30, 2013 at 8:21 PM

With so many problem children in Europe, how does she choose among them?

Philly on April 30, 2013 at 8:28 PM

Maybe they’ll engage in a slap fight like real ladies.

Charlemagne on April 30, 2013 at 8:31 PM

You know, France, you might consider pausing to ask yourselves why it is that you’re in your current position, and Germany is doing relatively so much better than you are; you don’t suppose it might be because of your terrible fiscal and economic policies, could it? Go on a take a little credit, why don’t you.

But, they knew best. I mean, when even a humongous tax and spender like Barack Obama pleaded with Hollande not to go batshit crazy implementing his insane tax increases, you KNOW they were positively certifiable considering the fact that Obama has never met a tax increase that he didn’t like.

Now, I wish that German voters would just give Club Med the finger. The euro is doomed and all they have been doing over the last few years is putting off the inevitable and insuring that the break-up will be far more painful when it does come.

Resist We Much on April 30, 2013 at 8:32 PM

I smell another European (World) War coming down the pike. Yuck.

Remember what happened LAST time Europe (as a whole) blamed Germany for everything wrong in the Eurozone?

SgtSVJones on April 30, 2013 at 8:41 PM

they accused German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her ilk’s “egotistical intransigence,” “selfish” austerity policies, and “liberal free trade interests” as the driving factors responsible for turning a small fiscal problem in Greece into the now widespread and ongoing European debt crisis.

Did “Conservative” Sarko cut spending and taxes after the recession? No. In fact, in 2012, he proposed even more tax increases and pledged to “sock it to the rich” even more than Hollande would, if reelected. And, Hollande has just pumped Sarko’s economic policies/proposals with steroids.

France‘s government spending as a percentage of GDP: 52.6% in 2007; 55.8% in 2012.

Berlusconi increased taxes and Italy has increased spending. 47.6% as a percentage of GDP in 2007 and 50.1% in 2012.

Even though Merkel did cut some spending in areas, she, too, increased taxes and government spending has continued to grow in others. German government spending as a percentage of GDP was 45.1% in 2012 and 43.5% in 2007.

Even Spain‘s spending increased. 2007: 39.2%. 2012: 42.0%.

Labour bankrupted the UK during its 13 year reign. Did the coalition led by “Conservative” [True, "conservative" in Europe does not mean the same thing as "conservative" in the US save for a few like Daniel Hannan, Nigel Farage (UKIP, but more conservative than Cameron), etc)] cut taxes and spending? No, it has actually increased spending to a level higher than Blair-Brown, raised taxes, and postponed meaningful spending cuts…indefinitely. Government spending as a percentage of GDP in 2007 was 40.3%. It was 45.3% in 2012.

[In some fairness, Osborne has reduced the top marginal rate from 50pc to 45pc after the "sock it to the rich" tax resulted in a loss of revenues to the Treasury of £509 million in January 2012 compared to the same month in 2011.]

Over the last decade, EU member states have collectively increased government spending by 62%. In 2012, average government spending by EU nations stood at approximately 49.2% of GDP — v. 44.8% in 2000.

On its own website, the EU itself ridicules the notion of government austerity as a “myth.”

‘National budgets are NOT decreasing their spending, they are increasing it,’ the EU’s site says, noting that in 2011, 23 of the 27 nations in the EU increased spending and in 2012, 24 of 27 will did so.’

Despite the “Austerity = Tea Party/Austrian Economics! E113veNty!!!111!!!” hysteria by idiots and propagandists like Paul Krugman, Ezra Klein, et al, European Austerity has NOTHING in common with that espoused by limited government/low taxation/spending cuts Americans. European leaders – of all stripes – knew that it was/is far easier to raise taxes than reform unsustainable entitlement programmes and cut spending…AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY HAVE DONE…ON EVERYONE…DRAMATICALLY.

Resist We Much on April 30, 2013 at 8:42 PM

Now how are the measuring that unemployment rate over there? We have more than one measure of unemployment here, which does their measure correspond to best?

BornLib on April 30, 2013 at 8:43 PM

E113veNty!!!111!!!

Resist We Much on April 30, 2013 at 8:42 PM

lol

Axe on April 30, 2013 at 8:46 PM

I always saw the EU as banding together to stave off economic collapse instead of trying to build a new superpower. It was only a matter of time before the accumulated stupidity overwhelmed any individual economic advantages.
The thing that has me worried now is that conditions favor starting a war.

mad scientist on April 30, 2013 at 8:47 PM

The socialists want the US to be dragged into this nightmare also so we are all ‘equal’.

…equally stepping around in a pile of crap that is.

TX-96 on April 30, 2013 at 8:53 PM

Franco-Prussian War
World War I
World War II

France does not have a good battlefield record against the Germans in the past 150 years….

Germans, their throat is either under your boot, or they’re at your throat…

glcinpdx on April 30, 2013 at 8:59 PM

Socialism 2.0

–bayam

tom daschle concerned on April 30, 2013 at 9:05 PM

France does not have a good battlefield record against the Germans in the past 150 years….

glcinpdx on April 30, 2013 at 8:59 PM

But, they were the best-dressed corpses on those battlefields…

Resist We Much on April 30, 2013 at 9:07 PM

The thing that has me worried now is that conditions favor starting a war.

mad scientist on April 30, 2013 at 8:47 PM

What sort of war, and why?

YiZhangZhe on April 30, 2013 at 9:08 PM

I do remember being in Germany in the 90′s and Germans telling me how great it was going to be. Meanwhile I couldn’t find beef. Not a steak, hamburger, nothing. They told me how nice not having to change currency in my travels would be. Then I headed to Russia. 40,000 rubles for $25 bucks. 1,000 rubles/ fifth of vodka. Dried fish.

Don’t remember the rest. Cost me a stripe.

Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden. Sweden was the best. July 4th. Love Americans day.Didn’t need money.

I just remember the Euro craze. They were all for it.

wolly4321 on April 30, 2013 at 9:20 PM

I think Germany has thought that since about 1870. They just haven’t talked about it much since 1945. Until now.

More broadly speaking, the Europeans are not now, nor have they ever been, one big happy family. Contrary to what the socialists would have us believe, Europe is not a democratic socialist paradise.

I expect Europe will begin reverting back to many of its old ways in the coming decades.

farsighted on April 30, 2013 at 9:36 PM

My grandfathers Garand kills deer, now.

wolly4321 on April 30, 2013 at 9:41 PM

I’m thinking, Germany, have you got another ass kicking left in ya? Minus that Holocaust thing. Just a quick spanking for all these lefty countries will do.

arnold ziffel on April 30, 2013 at 9:42 PM

But, they were the best-dressed corpses on those battlefields…

Resist We Much on April 30, 2013 at 9:07 PM

Lady, I love you. Firecracker, day after day. Keep it up.

arnold ziffel on April 30, 2013 at 9:45 PM

Actually, Germany and France are co-dependents. Brussels calls the shots.

Germany has an export based economy. They make precision instruments, etc. and have almost nothing by way of natural resources. They are dependent on trade and a stable currency.

It is in Germany’s interest to keep the EURO alive.

The Euro is artificially high in value. This is the reason that its implementation has driven other member nations to ruin. They can’t devalue it and make their trade more attractive to others because Brussels sets the Euro’s value.

If the other nation members could revert to their own currencies and devalue them, they could make their products and resources more attractive to others, and trade their way back to prosperity.

Such a sudden shock to Germany’s economy would be disastrous should each nation be able to revert to their own currency at the same time, both in terms of lost trade and in the devaluing of those ‘loans’ Germany has ponied up for the other EMU nations.

France has driven itself to penury though its lavish social services programs, pensions, and eye bleeding tax rates. The tax rates have not only made it nearly impossible for the average citizen to save, they have been driving business out of France for decades. The recent major tax jump on the wealthy was just the last straw.

Holland’s suggested solution for this budget shortfall and resultant debt of France has been that all the other member nations should share responsibility for France’s debts. Of course he couches it in the language of the true socialist in including ALL nations debts to be mutually shared, but the end result is the same. He is a major supporter of the notion that all members of the EU should surrender their economic sovereignty to Brussels.

Recently, Angela Merkel has joined that chorus demanding that the member nations surrender their economic sovereignty.

thatsafactjack on April 30, 2013 at 10:04 PM

What sort of war, and why?

YiZhangZhe on April 30, 2013 at 9:08 PM

Tom Clancy once remarked that “War is robbery writ large.” I think you can figure out the rest.

mad scientist on April 30, 2013 at 10:07 PM

Recently, Angela Merkel has joined that chorus demanding that the member nations surrender their economic sovereignty.

thatsafactjack on April 30, 2013 at 10:04 PM

. . . trying to remember where I saw that piece on a United Europe being the project’s ultimate aim anyway, the EURO existing as a stop-gap measure to create a common market to that end. It was pretty succinct, the one I’m thinking of.

Not well enough organized. :)

Axe on April 30, 2013 at 10:20 PM

Arnold Z- yep. RWM is on it. Always. I love her more!

wolly4321 on April 30, 2013 at 10:29 PM

Germany: France is “Europe’s biggest problem child”

Germany, welcome to the 20th century, allow me to show you around….

PXCharon on April 30, 2013 at 10:29 PM

Touche! And to think just a few years ago -well actually longer – Gerhard Schroeder the progressive liberal darling was leading the way neck and neck with France in the unemployment race, hovering around 11%. And he showed Oboobi how to bail out too big to fail corporations which promptly failed after receiving said huge bailout. Like most failed politicians, he went on to head Gazprom’s German subsidiary. Nice going Gerhard! Of course no one expected Angela to hang on as long as she did. Nicht schlect for Helmut ‘s protege from the extinct DDR.

AH_C on April 30, 2013 at 10:39 PM

while Austria, at 4.7%, and Germany, at 5.4%, had the lowest rates.

Electrongod on April 30, 2013 at 8:07 PM

Just like most of the Bush 43 years!

RJL on April 30, 2013 at 11:02 PM

Actually, Germany and France are co-dependents. Brussels calls the shots.

thatsafactjack on April 30, 2013 at 10:04 PM

That was the whole idea behind the EU, France would rule Europe through their mini-me puppet – Brussels, Belgium.

RJL on April 30, 2013 at 11:11 PM

What sort of war, and why?

YiZhangZhe on April 30, 2013 at 9:08 PM

Tom Clancy once remarked that “War is robbery writ large.” I think you can figure out the rest.

mad scientist on April 30, 2013 at 10:07 PM

Not a nation vs nation war, but more of a civil war within the classes, more of a class revolution. Likely to end up a massive c/f.

slickwillie2001 on April 30, 2013 at 11:27 PM

As here in the US, the French deserve to suffer for their voting in an overt socialist.

Yep! It fails everywhere, every time it’s tried.

BTW, petty diplomatic sniping is normal, it doesn’t mean Merkel is reaching for the keys to her Panzer.

virgo on May 1, 2013 at 12:42 AM

Between the socialists and hoards of Muslims, France is on the road to a giant collapse…

albill on May 1, 2013 at 7:30 AM

Hey Germany, know the best way to subdue a serious problem child? Spank them until your arms are limp rubber, put them in a restraint chair, and empty their piggy bank in front of their noses. Then when they’re finally too physically weak to scream or thrash, look them straight in their red-rimmed eyes and promise them a repeat of the same.

More broadly speaking, the Europeans are not now, nor have they ever been, one big happy family. Contrary to what the socialists would have us believe, Europe is not a democratic socialist paradise.

I expect Europe will begin reverting back to many of its old ways in the coming decades.

farsighted on April 30, 2013 at 9:36 PM

Absolutely not. The entire EU was like a puppet show with a bunch of small children trying to run the puppets, each trying to pick the other’s pocket for candy and lunch money all the while.

Doesn’t work that way folks. That show won’t run unless you have an adult running things and the children are meekly sitting down taking orders from the adult without a lot of argument.

As for Europe reverting, that’s partly why I wish Germany would say “Screw this” and gear up for another arsewhomping. Because MILLIONS fewer lives would be lost than if Europe reverted to what it used to be; a patchwork of socialist mini-nations run by inbred fops who used everyone else as political pawns or cannon fodder.

MelonCollie on May 1, 2013 at 8:39 AM

Maybe they’ll engage in a slap fight like real ladies.

Charlemagne on April 30, 2013 at 8:31 PM

Which would be amusing until you realize that they would slap themselves like Mr. Burns would.

Myron Falwell on May 1, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Not a nation vs nation war, but more of a civil war within the classes, more of a class revolution. Likely to end up a massive c/f.

slickwillie2001 on April 30, 2013 at 11:27 PM

In other words, what happened in 1848 when the intellectuals in France shouted aux barricades! because they didn’t want Papa Metternich and his friends telling them how to avoid another Napoleon any more.

The result, of course, was yet another round in the “Who Wants To Be The 800-Pound Gorilla Of Europe” competition that dates back to at least the time of Richelieu’. (Austrian-Prussian War 1866, Franco-Prussian War 1870-71, Russo-Turkish War 1871-77, etc., and of course the fall of Napoleon III and the Paris Commune.)

Europe’s problem has always been that they pay too much attention to their self-styled intellectuals. Who are usually determined to prove they’re smarter than everybody else by trying to create Utopia. Half of them by “unifying” the place, and the other half by trying to run everyone else out of it. Or kill them all. Or just blow everything the f**k up so they can build on the ruins.

See Europe After The Rain by Max Ernst for what the results look like no matter who does what.

No matter the method or motivation, it never ends well.

clear ether

eon

eon on May 1, 2013 at 5:37 PM