They've worked hard, they've worked long and, through prudence, they've borne the additional cost of absorbing East Germany and being a founder member of the euro zone. And now the German worker has had enough.
The mark provided the credibility the single currency needed to make it off the drawing board –- but still there must have been nagging doubts in the Bundesbank and the Chancellery about giving the Irish, the Spanish and the Italians access to a hard currency.
While the Germans worked and paid their taxes the Irish and southern European economies boomed on easy credit. While the Germans had their spending controlled through domestic fiscal policy, the rest of Europe appeared to pay lip service to spending rules.
On current guidance Ireland is likely to SUBSTANTIALLY exceed the 3 percent deficit to GDP target; France will probably be just under and Greece the same. Germany will most likely be in balance or will show a modest surplus.
Sovereign debt prices and credit default swaps already display market concern at the higher default risk in the economies on the rim of Europe.
A Europe-wide bailout plan would explicitly do what Germany has always resisted –- give the market the impression that the Bund is no more creditworthy than the Italian BTP or French OAT.
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