Economic Imperialists are the Germans?!

by DR. SAMI ALRABAA September 8, 2012

Since the eruption of the euro crisis more than two years ago, the topic has intensively engaged all sides in Germany, in particular politicians, economists, and the media.

The European country that is most severely affected by the euro crisis is Greece. And the discussion has so far revolved around whether Greece should stay in the euro-zone or leave it because of its sovereign astronomical debt.  

At the very beginning of the crisis, Philipp Rösler, the current German minister of economic affairs, and chairman of the Free Democratic Party (FDP), the junior partner of the coalition led by Angela Merkel, the chancellor, called on Greece to leave the euro-zone if it does not or cannot apply sustainable proper measures to tackle its debt crisis.

Almost one year later, Markus Söder, the finance minister of Bavaria and member of the Christian Social Union Party (CSU), the sister party of the CDU and coalition partner of Merkel, demanded the same from Greece and believed that Greece would not be able to put its finances in order. "Further billions of euros (for Greece) is a bottomless pit", Söder said most recently.

Both politicians were harshly blasted by both coalition partners: the CDU and the FDP.

The German chancellor has ad nausea said, everything should be done to avoid Greece's exit from the euro-zone.

Merkel and other German politicians, who have echoed the same wish, are not saying that out of love to Greece and its people.

Merkel and other German figures have rather in mind the interests of German lenders. Allianz, a global insurance concern and other German organizations have lent Greece tens of billions of euros. If Greece exits the euro-zone, these debts would go lost. Besides, if Greece returns to its old currency, the drachma, "it won't be able to import anything from Germany", Merkel said.

By the way, Greece has almost yearly in the past bought German weapons adding four billion euros to its gigantic debt.

Renowned economists have repeatedly said that Greece is practically insolvent and bust. The Greek economy has been shrinking, year after year. For years now Greece has not got any economic growth. It is surviving on its debts, and year in, year out it is making huge debts.

Economists also say that Greece will never be able to pay back its debts. The best solution for Greece and the Greeks is really exiting the euro-zone, and return to the drachma.   

The Germans want all Europeans and especially those in the euro-zone to copy and follow the German fiscal system. David Cameron, the British prime minister, a major European Union player, has adamantly opposed Merkel's "imperialist" attempts to dominate the economy of the EU, as the British Guardian put.

Germany is one of the most regulated states in the world, particularly in fiscal terms. Everything is regulated by the sate. The state is everywhere. For every transaction you have to pay taxes. For example, if you have a dog, you have to register it at the city council and pay taxes, yearly around 200 €. In addition to added value taxes, you have to pay taxes on your savings you have on your account at the bank. The bank is obliged to report your money to the finance office in your region.

That is why many Germans smuggle their money to Switzerland and deposit it there.

Recently some federal states have bought CDs from Switzerland and Luxemburg containing information about German tax evaders. These states paid millions of euros to acquire these CDs. Most recently NRW bought one for 2.5 million €.

Some German politicians rejected the purchase of such CDs as "illegal". On the other hand, they whole-heartedly support laws and verdicts related to petty shoplifting.

A neighbour of mine who is 77 years old was sentenced by the local prosecutor to a fine of 1,600 € for alleged shoplifting. My neighbour was doing some shopping in a supermarket. As he was looking for an article which he was long looking for, he inadvertently and unconsciously put a pack of pipe tobacco which he was holding in the same hand with shopping list in his coat pocket. He forgot all about the tobacco in his pocket. A shop detective approached him and accused him of shoplifting.

Having said that, if you drive over the speed limit, you get a fine of around 100-170 €, which is far more dangerous than shoplifting of meagre 5 $.

All in all, Germans are very disciplined, but they also can be very rigid and stubborn. They also want the others to follow their own rules and systems. Otherwise, ......

No wonder that Germany launched to world wars in one single century, in the 20th century.

Mike, a former colleague of mine, is now teaching at a university in Poland. He told me in one of his emails: "The Poles are extremely unhappy about the Germans. The Germans want the Poles and all formerly communist countries to reform everything and follow the German system, in particular the fiscal one. They want the Poles to regulate everything. The state is asked to regulate everything. Lots of things which are urged and enhanced by the Germans, remind the Poles and east Europeans of the Communist era. Under Communism, the state was everywhere." Mike reported.

Many German politicians and ordinary Germans, whether they are Christian Democrats or Social Democrats, want to set up what they call a "Social market economy", which implies: tax the rich and give it to the poor. This kind of Germans blast the Anglo Saxon capitalism. They argue that this kind of capitalism is purportedly too harsh.

Seven million German citizens live on state benefits, called "Hartz IV". Some of them have got a job, but they still need the help of the state. Some of them are jobless.

For many the system is so "good" that they do not need to take a job. Some of them have both: state benefits and an occasional job of which the state is unaware, practically fraud.

For example, Hans and Julia are jobless. He is allegedly permanently sick and unable to work, his wife is a housewife and looks after their seven kids. Monthly Hans gets 361 €, his wife gets the same amount of money. Additionally they get for each child 180 € a month. They also get the rent for their flat and all service charges paid by Hartz IV, around 700 €.

Hans and Julia get from the German state 2682 €, plus once in while Hans gets a little job for 400 €. In sum, Hans and Julia get monthly from the German tax-payer 2682 €. In total, they get more than 3000 € each and every month. Why should they exert themselves and work hard for the money?

That is the kind of system which the Germans want to impose in Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Ireland.

By the way, Adolf Hitler was also a kind of socialist. He taxed the well-off and gave toughly earned money to the less well-off.

Angela Merkel wants to see the German fiscal and social system introduced and applied all over Europe. She and other influential German leaders believe that only this way, a European Union can be perfectly achieved, politically and fiscally.  

Is that what the Europeans really want and expect from a European Union?

The German leaders across the board hate referendums because they know quite well that the majority of the public would vote against the policies of their leaders. The other European citizens are not less smart.

After the euro and debt crises, a referendum on the European Union would mean the end of this project.

Europe has had enough of the German stubbornness in the first and second World Wars. Enough is enough!  

Dr. Sami Alrabaa, an ex-Muslim, is a professor of Sociology and an Arab-Muslim culture specialist. He has taught at Kuwait University, King Saud University, and Michigan State University. He also writes for the Jerusalem Post and is the author of the book: “Veiled Atrocities”, published by Prometheus, New York 2010 .

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