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Anglo-German Alliance?

5 replies

niceguy2 · 23/05/2012 14:41

So now Hollande is in place promoting an anti-austerity and pro-growth strategy, it seems the old Franco-German alliance is dead.

Is there now scope for Cameron to forge a new alliance with Germany and lead Europe's direction? Angela Merkel has very little room to manoeuvre to support a pro-growth agenda. Most of her electorate believe countries like Greece have lived the high life for too long so now should cut their cloth accordingly. They have no appetite to throw their money into a black hole to prop up other countries which lived the high life whilst the German's practiced prudence.

OP posts:
jkklpu · 23/05/2012 14:59

Don't think it's as simplistic as anti-austerity//pro-growth. All EU countries want growth but there are disagreements about what should be done to achieve it, eg more market openness, liberalisation of service sectors (UK, Nordics, NL, et al.), or a trend towards protectionism (F and others). Hollande, too, wants to balance the books, which won't be possible if he renegues on the reforms for greater fiscal responsibility already introduced.

France and Germany always find a way to agree on enough for a common platform: it's part of each country's policy that they have to do this, whatever the scale of the background disagreements. UK takes a more subject-specific approach forming alliances with likeminded countries according to theme, eg with France on defence, with F, D, Nordics, A and others on the EU budget, with others on different aspects of economic reform. Thi is why the UK sometimes attracts accusations of promiscuity.

flatpackhamster · 23/05/2012 16:19

I think you've forgotten the most important element of this whole palaver, which is the EU itself. The EU Commission is the one trying to use this economic crisis to force political and economic union on the Eurozone. This isn't a battle between countries as much as a battle for control of those countries; a battle fought between political elites in every country and in the EU Commission. The G8 isn't the G8 any more. It's a G10 because the EU has two places at the table.

Whatever Cameron wants, or thinks he wants, or wants today but not tomorrow, or wants until his BBF Clegg tells him he doesn't want, it doesn't matter.

CogitoErgoSometimes · 23/05/2012 16:34

The EU project was inevitably heading towards political and economic union. The only way the US Dollar works across very differently performing states is to have a centralised economic policy. You'd never find the suggestion that California should away from the USD because it has heavy debts, for example. In answer to the question, I think if they have any sense, the UK government will throw their support behind whomever has the best solution for keeping the EU cohesive and functioning commercially. I have no idea if that's Merkel

niceguy2 · 24/05/2012 09:48

I think the idea that austerity alone won't solve the crisis is finally gaining momentum. The only issue is noone can agree how to fund growth and how best to target it.

This is where the US is much more efficient. They have one government, one president whom can distribute federal funds how they see fit for the entire nation.

In the EU we will now waste the next year forming committees, alliances not to mention lots of procrastinating. At the end of which the thoroughbred horse which was needed will look very much like the proverbial camel.

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flatpackhamster · 24/05/2012 10:43

Governments can't "fund" growth unless they have a cash surplus. If governments take out debt to create growth the economy isn't growing because the tax required to pay for the extra debt has to come from someone, and that tax reduces the money available for spending and investment, which reduces growth.

None of our governments can fund growth because they're all so heavily in debt.

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