Germany In World Economy: Angela Merkel, Die Wunder Frau: Die Fetten Jahren Sind Vorbei
Since the early 1930’s, Germany had been an industrialized state. Machine tools were already at an advanced stage of application and the manufacture of technical products and their exports ruled the world.
Had Adolf Hitler not misled Germany with his satanic mission from 1939-1945, the Germans would have gone very far in science and technology. They are simply the best in most things. I know.
After a hectic revival and re-construction effort from 1950-1975, the Germans re-established themselves and even overtook many states that did not suffer the effects of the 2nd World War.
The German societal development is intrinsically linked to their rigorous and solid education system, which is indisputably the best in the world. It teaches hard work, thoroughness, responsibility as a national ethos, uprightness, the power of shame and strict upbringing as a form of national consciousness.
The German society is well-ordered and self-regulatory. The law bites. The judiciary is populated by jurists, with intellectual backgrounds that create in the jurist the awareness that he must maintain the highest juridical and ethical standards in his duties to the fatherland.
The German legal system is one of the most advanced legal systems in the world. One must define every concept, every word in order to make for clarity and precise expressions are a must in judicial proceedings and procedures.
Germany is a society based on the rule of law. As a result, there is social order in governance and in business conduct.
Unfortunately, Germany is also affected by the down-turn in the global economy.
Die fetten jahren Sind vorbei! In the 1960’s Germany agreed to integration with the world economy, a strategy she considered wise in order to foster its trade in goods as well as other areas of foreign trade viz services, free-of-charge transfers and long term capital transactions.
In the 1970’s, the Foreign Trade Act defined the parameters for its national, domestic policy and this accelerated Germany’s commercial relations with other members of the European Community.
The industrial sector was very vibrant and competitive, especially the automobile production nexus, machine tools and the aviation industry.
The successful end of the phase of re-construction led to the phase of consolidation and the economic structure of Germany promoted consumer habits, stronger integration with Europe and its international trade.
The dexterity, competence and mastery, which Dr (Mrs.) Angela Merkel has brought to bear on the German economy and the European financial system, are based on knowledge, insight and assiduous application of trained intellect.
She holds a Doctorate degree in Physics and has been an ardent member of the Christian Democratic Party. She learned from the master politician and former Chancellor of Germany, Dr Helmut Kohl.
This is how it should be. To emerge from latent obscurity into sudden light, does not give one the required experience in statecraft.
Merkel and Sarkozy have demonstrated that intelligence, deep learning and exposure to governance over years is a sine qua non to a mastery of what government is all about. Both of them have tried hard to find solutions to the festering European financial crisis and they do not rely on hired brains to do the job of transformation and revival.
In Brissels, Merkel spoke with candour during the European Summit, which took place on December 8, 2011. She called for European unity, cooperation and extensive consultations among European leaders.
She pointed out that there was need to review all the European legal instruments that regulate European life. Some of the provisions of European treaties like the European Coal and Steel Community, the Council of Europe and some bilateral and multilateral treaties had earlier been reviewed.
The EU Constitution had suffered set-backs when France and the Netherlands rejected the Constitution. Happily, France, under Sarkozy is an ardent advocate of European Union.
Pundits still argue that the EU Constitution is cumbersome and strange to some European states that guard their sovereignty jealously. Britain requested protection for British monetary regime. There was no agreement on a new EU treaty. President Nicholas Sarkozy blamed that failure on the British Prime Minister, David Cameron. Britain will lose a lot of money if the euro fails.
Protecting British interests and the wider interest of the European Union seem hard to reconcile. The prospect of the EU monitoring national budgets is hard to fathom. The sanctions on erring bank directors will be tightened to guarantee more prudence in the banking sector.
In 2004, the EU Constitution was approved by European states. The aim of the European Union is to operate a continental union of European states. The EU Constitution is an ambitious document that purports to define politically agreeable norms as binding laws, virtually overriding national constitutions. This jolted Britain and the Netherlands, which saw this as a challenge to their sovereignty. An attempt to evolve a new EU treaty that would further encroach on national preferences is fraught with impossibilities.
The history of European institutions that have assisted Europe to gain acceleration and progress are the European Common Market, which helped to unify and shape agricultural policies. The Council of Europe played a good role in forging European integration; the European Court of Human Rights has been very instrumental in the defence of human rights in Europe and helped to shape human rights consciousness in the world. One of its first cases was LAWLESSVTHE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND and the Belgian Linguistic cases. The European Coal and Steel Community laid down the regulatory rules for that important trade.
The existing European Parliament and the European Commission have functioned very well. European life is based on democracy and expediency and has impacted tremendously on East European states that were in the Soviet Union. We now see periodic elections in those states based on popular democracy. It is in the sphere of the economy that confusion and discordant voices are loud and clear.
European Parliamentarians in Brussels are empowered to legislate on behalf of European states. This apparent transfer of sovereignty to Brussels is looked upon with apprehension and reservation by European monarchies.
A further and better re-organisation of the European society should be based on the present European Union arrangement, with some modifications aimed at regulating the activities of the financial institutions, social justice systems, setting up a network of jurists and social workers to cater for the growing number of poor people In Greece and elsewhere, suicide rates are mounting.
It unEuropean to discuss monetary issues, while the social justice system is howling for immediate redress. The new legal framework must reflect Europe as it is today, not as it was from 1960-89.
In Europe, there are those, who clamour on how Europe can do business better. Some rely on accurate definitions and correct data. Some are in search of a quick fix. There are famous political thinkers, who still propagate political theories, long exploded by the realities of our contemporary world. There are also those with deep thoughts, who find it difficult to break the ice of dogma.
It was such a dilemma that led to the collapse of the then Soviet Union Where states come together for a common cause, be it political, social, economic or all of the above, there is usually no guarantee that when the glue that bonded them together melts they will not fall apart. The collapse of the Soviet Union (not communism) caused an unexpected influx of both skilled and unskilled labour which overwhelmed the Western
Employment problems cropped up as East Europeans accepted lower wages, thereby throwing the West Europeans into the job market.
Since European companies had outsourced their businesses to China, India and elsewhere, the liquidity flow of finance became disrupted and European governments embarked on a borrowing spree.
Although China had wanted to enlist in the WTO much earlier, her entry suffered set-backs from European states, who harped on issues like human rights and religious freedoms. In celebrating her ten years as a member of the WTO, one can discern how China stooped to conquer.
If China, a socialist state can adopt the policy of economic cooperation with capitalist states of the West, one wonders why Britain could not find accommodation with twenty-three other EU states.
China used her WTO membership to forged meaningful economic relations with Europe. She expanded her international economic relations; trade relations, strengthened her currency and paved the way for cooperation with foreign business partners.
China opened her door to those states that wanted to borrow funds from her. All these developments impacted on her human rights practice
. Chinese financial regulations had to tally with international standards. She drafted new laws in the fields of contract and business law regulations. She imposed very stringent discipline in the management of its sovereign affairs.
In defiance of the fact that the West did not seem to knowledge Chinese modest efforts at social change, the state has continued to improve its statecraft. The ideological propaganda of the 1970’s has no more appeal as the Chinese have demonstrated resilience, dexterity and somber ingenuity.
The welfare of Chinese continues to improve in all spheres, in spite of occasional terrible weather conditions.
Since 2005, Germany and China lent funds to states in need. As the repayment schedules were no longer respected as a result of dwindling financial capacity, China and Germany, reviewed their lending policies.
In Euro-American states, when the sources of lending dried up, there was a seismic wave in the Euro-American economy that could no longer compete with the BRICS states.
Unfortunately, European and American commentators speak tongue-in-cheek, when they analyze the down-turn in their economies. Some blame China for its successful trade with African nations. However, this criticism has done little to stop the blazing economic cooperation, between China and Africa.
The European press is largely responsible for keeping European business houses uninformed about the myriads of investment opportunities that abound in Africa.
Derogatory reports in the spirit of the TARZAN and KING KONG stories still hold the aces among Europeans, but those, who have looked at modern evidence, see prospects in every square mile of African soil. The Chinese do and should invest more in those sectors that require capital intensive attention.
Western commentators on Africa choose to interview drummers, singers of hip hop music, burnt-out artists, who mimic American artists and anyone, who has a weird story to tell. They waste valuable television time, discussing inane subjects, making jokes that embarrass decent people, all in the name of freedom, while serious societal matters remain unaddressed.
They often ignore or do not point out the disastrous consequences of sticking to the old capitalist system, whose theories can no longer fit into the globalization era, the information technology era and the era of wars without end, which have drain their economies inexorably.
G8, G20 meetings have failed to proffer lasting solutions, since these meetings exclude emerging economies, whose presence, would have assisted in finding ways forward.
Germany had spare-headed the rescue of European states in dire financial straits like Greece, Spain, Portugal, Iceland and Italy. However, Angela Merkel’s mission was made impossible by grumbling Germans, who do not see the rationale for helping Greeks, who are garrulous, enjoy feasts and good holidays, while the Germans take their “arbeit stunden” very seriously. “Es geht doch nicht”, the Germans argue. “Die Grechen mussen lernen wie man tuchtig arbeiten muss.”
“Die lange Marsh der Merkel”is just beginning. The Germans may wish to support her politics both domestic and European. From all indications, it is Europe not Merkel that is responsible for the state of European affairs.
The British tend to see Europe from afar. A close, fraternal association could bridge the gap and consolidate European co-operation. After the British Prime Minister stated his position in Brussels, opinion is divided in Britain how far conservatism can prevent British isolation from a majority of European states that have decided to forge on without Britain.
On December 6, 2011, the US Treasury Secretary, Geithner visited Germany and met with both the Central Bank Governor and the German Minister of Finance.
The US Secretary was visibly worried about the intractable nature of the parlous state of European finances. He later moved over to Paris, to consult with President Nicolas Sarkozy. Geither later expressed optimism that the Europeans will overcome their difficulties.
Ireland announced its strategies to deal with its financial situation. These appear limited in scope. The economies of South East Asia have also slowed down and Hong Kong’s economy has weakened, but some Asian economists have argued that their economies are adjusting to the reforms that are on-going and there was no cause for alarm.
Brazil has cut its interest rate to enhance growth, after the Labour Minister left the cabinet. Citi Bank announced on December 7, 2011, that it would lay off many of its workmen. The capitalist economy is facing many challenges that seem to defy immediate solutions.
Western economic theory is part and parcel of Western socio-cultural tradition. Its entire style of discourse seems to be changing. It is interesting to note that the Greeks, who in the 5th century BC developed “the philosophic style of during the Golden Age of Athens and of Pericles”, which influenced European civilization, are today factious and incapable of putting their acts together.
It is now obvious that European civilization was not based solely on philosophical ideas, but also, by conquest, war booties, slave trade, colonialism and imperialism. When these primitive wealth accumulation systems disappeared, the welfare of Old Europe began to crumble.
This process was accelerated by the rise of China, Russia, India, Brazil and South Africa. The emergence of a multi-polar world, posed new challenges to the economies of Europe and America.
There have emerged new institutions like information technology, social media, which have galvanized social classes, with revolutionary ideals. Governments are now confronted with the revolutionary antics of political mal-contents world-wide. This seems to have put enormous pressures on governments to perform.
Western pundits complicate matters by their very subjective musings, which pass for intellectual analysis.
Standard and Poors has hinted that some more European states may face a credit downgrade. This had a severe psychological effect on the EURO SUMMIT that was long on words and short on positive measures to save the Euro from collapse.
The EU Summit did not achieve its set objectives as a result of the British NIET. David Cameron’s emotional intelligence was in full display. However, long after the ovation dies down at the Conservative Party headquarters, Britain must invent new ways to avoid its complete isolation from Europe.” A stitch in time saves nine”
The City of London, where the money of the world resides is not interested in geo-political tantrums but in the rate at which liquidity flows into its bulging coffers.
To narrate the impact of the state of Europea
n finances on social humans is a gory story In Lancaster; a former Police Inspector killed his wife and a seven year old daughter out of desperation. Some students have had to drop out or will eventually do so because of a hike in fees. In Italy, Greece, Spain and elsewhere in Europe the going is tough but even the tough can no longer get going.
Amidst these interlocking and gnawing circles of misery, the Australian Foreign Minister brought good news about the positive growth in the Australian economy, which attests to the dexterity of the Australian Prime Minister, Gillard, who always affirms her determination to move Australia forward.
The announcement that America and Germany have banned prayers when they need prayers most seems to ignore the fact that the absence of GOD is the absence of good. There is need to atone for conquest, ingenuity and catastrophe.
This policy of not accepting God must be reversed otherwise, “Die Berliner Luft kann nicht rein sein.”Germany is no longer very concerned with “Probleme der Entwicklungslander”.
In der Europaischen politische zusamenarbeit findet man unglaublischen probleme die ganz gross geworden sein.
In der post-krises zeit, muss Europa genau sagen was sie gemacht haben mochte. Dem Deutsche Genossen, Ich sage sein tapfer aber glaube im Gott ist wichtig fur das leben!
This is a poetic, folksy and rutting season for mankind. We need God’s grace and benevolence NOW, not blasphemy.” Something more than gold, something more than gold, when God is in the heart of man, it is something more than gold”
It would seem that Nigeria is being asked by the US and others why she passed a law against same sex marriage? The Federal Government of Nigeria is reported to be asserting its independence and sovereignty in refusing to accept unsavory dictations from afar.
Octopus diplomacy clings to friends and power politics diplomacy does not permit allies to think for themselves. When we rushed to support the action against Muamar Kaddafi, the only Arab leader that did quite a lot for African nations, some states did not like our Palestinian vote. We are being put under all sorts of “ICHO-OKWU” diplomacy by “ndi ochi mara”, “ndi ogo mmuo”.
It is dangerous to hunt with the hounds and run with the hare. This has been the kern of my critique of our foreign relations. We need to be more shrewd and sophisticated.
I will illustrate “ICHO-OKWU” diplomacy with this well-known story. A lamb was drinking water from the downhill of a stream and a lion was drinking from the higher ground. The lion belched out to the lamb, “Why are you mucking up the water that I am drinking?”The lamb said, but you are drinking from where the water flows down to me. Then the lion said, ah! You were the lamb that insulted me six months ago. The lamb said that six months ago, she had not been born. The lion ate the lamb.
We shall soon be prohibited from saying prayers! Little drops of provocation could have consequences. Are we thinking of the coming social dislocation, when the European financial melt-down spills over?
At BOSAS INTERNATIONAL LAW BUREAU, the Curatorium (in lighter mood), requested the US Congress to pass, with speed, a law legalizing polygamy!
All the daughters of the FIRST EVE will find husbands. Brother Cain can then get back on his blazing campaign trail!
When the Roman world was collapsing, a Roman thinker, Plotinus, admonished his Roman compatriots thus:
“Mortify the body; deny self, affections as well as appetites and the inner eye will begin to exercise its clear and solemn vision”.
This essay is dedicated to the late Mr.L.T MAO, a former First Secretary in the Taiwanese Trade Mission in Abuja, Nigeria.