Unifying Europe – It Is Nowhere Near That Easy (Continuation)

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During my last bike trip this autumn from Munich via Salzburg, St. Johann i.P., Bad Gastein, Villach, Tarvisio, Udine to Grado, the night in Prien on the Chiemsee was the least expensive.  In former times, the beautiful places in Bavaria used to be much more expensive than the just as beautiful places in the then “Schilling” country Austria or in the “Lira” paradise Italy.

Those days are gone. Hotels in Bavaria were the cheapest of all.

On the local markets in the “stress-countries” like Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, the victuals really cost money. Local beer is no longer less expensive than imported beer. In fact, the opposite is true. And you can get the VW Polo for less than here – at least if you believe what the posters say.

The cost is no longer very different, but the incomes differ hugely.

How is that supposed to work? When the “GDR” was incorporated into Germany, the problems were similar. It was clear that most companies would instantly have to liquidate if the incomes in the GDR were to rise.

Regardless, we introduced the DM in the GDR and adapted the incomes up to 90%. We accepted the possible ruin of the companies, because we believed a two-class society in one country cannot work. We paid dearly for it. With borrowed money. And with the  “Soli”, which – to my surprise – is to be lowered now of all times.

But what worked for the GDR more badly than rightly cannot work for Europe. We cannot introduce standard incomes close to our own for all the people in Europe. Too many European economies are similarly ruined as the GDR was. And there are no reserves you could fall back on, either. All the countries are already indebted up to their eyes as it is.

The attempt at unifying Europe by a measure as trivial as a common currency was not just naïve, but even grossly negligent. Basically, what we did was extending the DM to all countries, as we did to the GDR before. Except that it got a new name.

I am afraid it did more damage than good to Europe

(Translated by EG)

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