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Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister: Germany seeks “Hegemony” in Europe (by “Other Means”)

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Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s pro­pa­ganda chief, once said: ‘In 50 years’ time nobody will think of nation states.’ 

COMMENT: Luxembourg’s foreign minister has added his voice to those noting German imperial designs lurking behind the facade of the EU/EMU.

Jean Asselborn has unequivocally stated that Germany aims for “hegemony” in the euro zone. A growing consensus is emerging echoing this sentiment. BloggersGerman European Parliament representatives , financial regulators and government ministers have expressed similar opinions, however they do not place the events unfolding in Europe in the proper historical context.

Impossible to explain here, past a point, we have made materials available that will flesh out listerns’/readers’ understanding of the emergence of “Europa Germanica.”:

Lux­em­bourg Min­is­ter Says Ger­many Seeks Euro Zone “Hegemony” by Andreas Rinke; Reuters; 3/26/2013.

EXCERPT: Luxembourg’s for­eign min­is­ter accused Ger­many on Tues­day of “striv­ing for hege­mony” in the euro zone by telling Cyprus what busi­ness model it should pursue.

Like Cyprus, Lux­em­bourg has a large finan­cial sec­tor, whose com­par­a­tively light-touch tax and reg­u­la­tory regime has long irked its much big­ger neigh­bours Ger­many and France.

Ger­many, the Euro­pean Union’s biggest and most pow­er­ful econ­omy, had insisted that wealthy depos­i­tors in Cyprus’s banks con­tribute to the island’s bailout and said the cri­sis has killed a “busi­ness model” based on low taxes and attract­ing large for­eign deposits.

“Ger­many does not have the right to decide on the busi­ness model for other coun­tries in the EU,” For­eign Min­is­ter Jean Assel­born told Reuters. “It must not be the case that under the cover of finan­cially tech­ni­cal issues other coun­tries are choked.”

“It can­not be that Ger­many, France and Britain say ‘we need finan­cial cen­tres in these three big coun­tries and oth­ers must stop’.”

That was against the inter­nal mar­ket and Euro­pean sol­i­dar­ity, and “striv­ing for hege­mony which is wrong and un-European,” he said. . . .

But crit­i­cism from core north­ern states such as Lux­em­bourg — a founder mem­ber of the EU and euro zone — is less common.

Assel­born said it was cru­cial that smaller EU states in par­tic­u­lar were allowed to develop cer­tain eco­nomic niches.

Ger­many should also keep in mind it was a prime ben­e­fi­ciary of the euro zone cri­sis because its bor­row­ing costs have plunged as ner­vous investors seek safe havens, Assel­born added. . . .

Discussion

One comment for “Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister: Germany seeks “Hegemony” in Europe (by “Other Means”)”

  1. Bundesbank head Weidmann just issued Cyprus’s sentence: “longer term structural reforms”. It’s the transnational analog to the “Camp Fear” approach of dealing with wayward teens: Send the kid to a place so awful and senselessly crazy that other kids are like “no way I’m misbehaving after seeing what they did to that kid!”. You aren’t sent to Camp Fear to receive therapy yourself. Seeing you get sent to Camp Fear is the therapy…for other wayward teens.

    You don’t pointlessly torture someone and destroy their future if you want to help them heal:

    Cyprus Shows Banks Can Be Wound Down: ECB’s Weidmann
    Reuters
    Published: Sunday, 7 Apr 2013 | 3:45 AM ET

    The Cyprus bailout shows banks can be wound down despite difficulties, European Central Bank (ECB) policymaker Jens Weidmann said in an interview broadcast on Sunday, adding the situation on the island had stabilized.

    Weidmann, chief of Germany’s Bundesbank, told Deutschlandfunk radio he wouldn’t rule out that Cyprus might need yet more liquidity, but stressed it was longer term structural reforms that would solve Nicosia’s problems and not more cash.

    To secure a 10 billion euro EU/IMF bailout last month, Cyprus forced heavy losses on wealthier depositors. Initially it had also pledged to introduce a levy on deposits of less than 100,000 euros before reneging in the face of protests.

    Weidmann warned that the appetite for making structural reforms in Europe was waning, and this posed a problem.

    Commenting on Italy he said although the country seemed to be functioning on auto-pilot and sticking to measures already agreed, so long as it lacked a government it would trigger uncertainty over whether it could tackle its problems.

    “It is not that we have too little liquidity in the euro zone or that the central banks have not been active … the problems are rather a lack of competitiveness in certain countries and doubts over financial sustainability. We need to fix this, and only governments can do that,” he said.

    Weidmann added: “managing the crisis won’t be a matter of months, I think it is something we will be working on for years, because winning back competitiveness and consolidating state budgets are huge, wideranging challenges which will take a long time.

    “I think it is something we will be working on for years, because winning back competitiveness and consolidating state budgets are huge, wideranging challenges which will take a long time.” Truly terrifying.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 7, 2013, 7:14 pm

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