German banks, Spanish farmers, Greek debt - what should Germany finance next? Answer: None of the above. End of discourse.
Whenever I hear these kind of almost rhetorical questions, whenever I hear a never-ending line of non-Germans declaring with amazing conviction that "the Germans are getting fed up with bailing every budget-sinner out" or "How long will the German voter take this?" I just roll my eyes.
Sorry all ye self-appointed experts on the subject - it seems to me that you A) understand very little about US Germans at large; and B) you understand even less about the general lay of the party-political landscape and susceptibility here in the fatherland. Let me explain.
Are the Germans getting fed up? - You bet your bottom euro, drachma or deutschmark they are. But is it going to change anything? - Of course not.
Just cast your mind back to German unification. One might think when two states decide to become one, that at least warrants a referendum. Nope. Not in Germany.
German monetary union at the ludicrous vote-winning exchange rate of 1:1? Referendum? Nope.
Giving up the "Wirtschaftswunder" (economic miracle) currency, our beloved deutschmark, and exchanging it for a European hybrid whose creators couldn't be sure would work? Now surely we´d have a referendum? Nope. Nein.
I think you get the picture here. At the time, more than 80 percent of the Germans in opinion polls up and down the Rhine were violently opposed to giving up their deutschmark – because they saw coming what has happened now.
No, not quite correct: Because they feared, this new euro would be a weak currency and would bring them the one catastrophe that even young Germans, who have never experienced it in their lifetime still fear the most – inflation.
In any case, since unification - German unification - we have not been asked about many a paycheck for things we would rather not have had.
These include: unification - estimated costs 1.3 trillion euros to date; moving the capital from Bonn to Berlin -100 billion euros plus; bailing out Hypo Real Estate, never mind "help" for the other banks –120 billion and counting.
And of course, there was bailing out Greece, Portugal, Spain – in terms of the actual money that´s flown so far it is "peanuts", less than 10 billion, but yes, we all fear that this might be a dark and very bottomless pit.
But the bottom line and conclusion to my argument is this: we weren't asked before and we won't be asked now. And, guess what? Nothing will happen. No mass demonstrations, no general strike, no overturning of the government and no social unrest. This is a country where the so-called "revolution" of 1848 ended up in a long-winded debate in a former church and then everybody went home.
And as to B): the voters will make Merkel & Co pay for it. Yes, maybe.
Let's just say Merkel's coalition is voted out of office. What are the alternatives? Either another "grand" coalition between Merkel´s CDU/CSU and the Social Democrats or a coalition between CDU/CSU and the Greens, or indeed a leftist coalition of Social Democrats and Greens.
Do you really think any of these combinations of German government will change anything about present euro policy? If anything they are more pro-euro, not less. Forget the idea of any election and change in leadership changing the German commitment. The German citizens will not be asked and they will pay.
So next time you declare with conviction that "the Germans will not take any more" - please think again. At least if you have any money riding on your argument.