What is Germany heading for?
Although Germany is the biggest economy and the most important partner of the European Union our knowledge about this country is still very limited.
After the Second World War Germany became a socially defeated and an economically broken country. It was disunited into two parts and occupied. At these long and bad times German society was getting prepared to integrate and win its independence back.
The fall of the Berlin Wall on 9th November 1989 was the beginning of the new integration between East-West Europe. Germany rebuilt itself and has made a lot of steps forward for European cooperation after that.
One of the best example is ratification of treaty that was supposed to pass a new Constitution while the other West European countries haven’t agreed – just before the EU extension on the East of Europe. Germany was said as a rescuer of the integration progress in the EU that time.
Nowadays it’s commonly said Germany became the leader in the European Union cause of its potential. The most important factors proving the German leadership are definitely population (over 80 million people), total GDP ($3.325 trillion), credit balance of trade and inflation rate of only 1,6%.
Germany takes the first place in the EU in the balance of trade – while still exports and imports rate is the highest in Europe. These factors keep Germany away from huge economics and financial dips in a long term of time. Interesting is life expectancy (81,4 woman, 75,7 man), the government spending on treatment (10,6% of the GDP) and very high live standards.
Contributing for the Germany weakness is a very low rate of women progeny and high rate of over 65 year-old people (18% of the society). 2050 there’s a 10-percent decrease of nowadays population expected. Moreover Germany has a lot national debts and wrestles with a high bureaucracy, monopolization of the energy sector and very high electricity prices.
Beside this, the German society influences Germany reputation in the European Union rather negatively. In Germany you might get a feeling that German politicians lead the politics by themselves and do not really care about the society opinion differences. This may be the reason of a lack of Germans’ interest about the EU. Even over 40% of Germans thinks Brussel’s influence is too high. Moreover 29% of Germans says there are disadvantages of Germany EU membership. Almost 50% cannot decide.
An undoubtedly advantage of Germany is the quality of its politics which is not built on a “shaky ground”. German politicians are world-wide recognized. There are absolutely huge services to the country of the nowadays Chancellor Angela Merkel. She was born in Hamburg (past Federal Republic of Germany) but moved to East Germany in early childhood, grow up and studied there. She is very well educated (she studied Physics) but above all she’s a very strong-minded and ambitious person with a lot of patience. Thanks to her character traits and charisma the current German leadership can be called her personal success.
Is Germany heading for a leadership in Europe? Or is it rather a rescuer of the European Union?
Last weeks of 2013 Germany economics was submit to critical review of the United States of America: Germany is swallowing other European economics. German exports harm other European product selling and make them not competitive. What will be the next German steps? Strongly depends on Angela Merkel’s strategy. Nowadays all roads lead to Berlin.