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Euro crisis: Impressions of the public debate in Germany

Just what the boulevard press was waiting for:

Especially over the period March to May 2010, the ubiquitous daily Bild (publisher Axel Springer) launched an intensive campaign on the emerging Euro crisis, then restricted to Greece. Below a citation from a journalistic study by the Otto Brenner Stiftung (foundation) on Bild (here summarizing the Bild representation of the subject Greece):

«Carefully formulated in the language used by the newspaper, the Bild storyline about the Greek crisis reads:
Those corrupt and lazy Greeks have driven their nation into insolvency. That in itself should not bother us if it weren't for the fact that in so doing, they wouldn't ruin the Euro as well. The hardworking and thrifty Germans want to save the Euro, however they on no account want to throw their hard-earned money into the bottomless Greek vat. Things will turn out well if the bankrupt Greeks are thrown out of the Eurozone. They only got in with the help of tricks and deception anyhow.»

Up to September 2012:

[incomplete random selection. date = date of a citation, not necessarily the original citation]
Link Date Source Statement Comments
12.02.2010 Angela Merkel, CDU Let's talk when the problem arises. Greece hasn't yet asked for help Eul.: impressive foresight
12.02.2010 EMNID poll71% of Germans opposed to financial aid for Greece BBC journalist: You could call it a culture clash. Germans are big savers, not big spenders.
23.02.2010 Wilhelm Hankel
economist, euro critic
Intends to fight against aid for Greece at the ECJ because of Maastricht Treaty clause prohibiting bail-out
26.04.2010 FAZUntil recently, Merkel demanded it should be possible to exclude reform-unwilling members from the Eurozone. Today she describes this as unthinkable, it's the Euro that needs stabilizing.
But the exchange rate of the Euro doesn't appear in danger. The problem is Euro-internal, caused by the irresponsible debt production of Greece and others in the Eurozone. That's why Germany now has to pay for Greece
Eul.: ditto
. . . . . . . . . . . .
26.06.2012 Merkel,
Jens Weidmann (Bundesbank President)
Solidarity only possible with controls & collective oversight. Pooling debt only with pooling sovereignty & responsibility. Eurobonds counterproductive & violate German law. Berlin-inspired EFST stipulates deficit limit 3% of GNP & total debt converging down to 60% of GNP
27.06.2012 MerkelThe problem at hand is to correct the Euro birth defect. Both debt reduction and growth measures are necessary.
29.06.2012 EU Summit agrees on ESM Treaty
29.06.2012 Sigmar Gabriel, SPDUsing the ESM to aid Banks in distress is bad, but SPD supports ESM as such because Germany should give back some of what it gained through the existence of the Euro Eul.: ditto
30.06.2012 TV news report12000 people have signed a request for an injunction by the Constitutional Court to prevent the ESM treaty from being ratified by Germany. Argument: The ESM treaty encroaches the democratic rights of the parliament. The disposal of hundreds of billions of the taxpayer's money is being handed over to a non democratically legitimized organization Eul.: Through their own judgement, democratically legitimized parliaments have created an organization to carry out a specific task. These parliaments are not powerless when it comes to overseeing and if necessary stopping the work of the ESM. The delegation of work as such is not undemocratic.



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