For a long time, most analysts have believed that if someone was going to leave the euro, it would be a weak nation such as Greece or Portugal. But the truth is that financially troubled nations such as Greece and Portugal don’t want to leave the euro. The leaders of those nations understand that if they leave the euro their economies will totally collapse and nobody will be there to bail them out. And at this point there really is not a formal mechanism which would enable other members of the eurozone to kick financially troubled nations such as Greece or Portugal out of the euro. But there is one possibility that is becoming increasingly likely that could actually cause the break up of the euro. Germany could leave the euro. Yes, it might actually happen. Germany is faced with a very difficult problem right now. It is looking at a future where it will be essentially forced to bail out most of the rest of the nations in the eurozone for many years to come, and those bailouts will be extremely expensive. Meanwhile, the mood in much of the rest of Europe is becoming decidedly anti-German. In Greece, Angela Merkel and the German government are being openly portrayed as Nazis. Financially troubled nations such as Greece want German bailout money, but they are getting sick and tired of the requirements that Germany is imposing upon them in order to get that money. Increasingly, other nations in Europe are simply ignoring what Germany is asking them to do or are openly defying Germany. In the end, Germany will need to decide whether it is worth it to continue to pour billions upon billions of euros into countries that don’t appreciate it and that are not doing what Germany has asked them to do.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party recently approved a resolution that would allow a country to leave the euro without leaving the European Union.
Many thought that the resolution was aimed at countries like Greece or Portugal, but the truth is that this resolution may be setting the stage for a German exit from the euro.
The following is an excerpt from that resolution….
“Should a member [of the euro zone] be unable or unwilling to permanently obey the rules connected to the common currency he will be able to voluntarily–according to the rules of the Lisbon Treaty for leaving the European Union–leave the euro zone without leaving the European Union. He would receive the same status as those member states that do not have the euro.”
So was that paragraph written for Greece?
Or was it written for Germany?
That is a very interesting question.
What is clear is that the status quo cannot last much longer.
Voters in Germany are definitely not in the mood to give any more bailout money to other nations in Europe, but if Germany is going to continue to stay in the eurozone many more bailouts will be required in the coming years.
Meanwhile, Germany is rapidly losing control over the rest of the eurozone….
*Greece has implemented some of the austerity measures that have been required of it, but many others have not been implemented. In a few weeks there will be a national election, and parties that are opposed to the austerity measures are surging in the polls. It is likely that the new government will be much less friendly toward Germany.
*The Spanish government is already defying the budgetary requirements that the EU is trying to impose upon it. Spain is definitely going to miss the debt targets mandated by the EU, and the Spanish government has absolutely no plans of making more reductions to government spending.
*The upcoming election in France could be absolutely crucial. Nicolas Sarkozy is not doing well in the polls and the new French government could totally wreck the recent fiscal agreement that the members of the eurozone recently agreed to.
The following is how Graham Summers recently summarized the current situation in France….
We should also take Schäuble’s statements in the context of Angela Merkel’s recent backing of Nicolas Sarkozy’s re-election campaign in France against hardened socialist François Hollande, who wants to engage in a rampant socialist mission to lower France’s retirement age, cut tax breaks to the wealthy, and break the recent new EU fiscal requirements Germany convinced 17 members of the EU to agree to.
Obviously Germany has been trying very hard to keep the eurozone together. But the German government also believes that if it is going to be bailing everyone out that it should also be able to set the rules.