Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Shouldn't we be asking how it is that the Germans are able to be so "lazy" and still well paid, with low unemployment?

I suspect that Merkel's to attached at the hip to her FDP buddies to recognize that the answer isn't "free markets."

It's a sad thing that the Germans aren't promoting the policies and economic arrangements, e.g. the social market economy, that have worked so well for them for the EU as a whole.

For each hour worked, the German economy got $47.56 (2005 constant PPP), while the Greeks only got $30.45, the Spanish $40.34, and in Portugal each hour worked produced $22.18.

If the EU were a sensible body interested in creating convergence towards a higher standard of living, the concern would be about how to increase productivity.  Together with an agreement to restructure debt into GDP linked bonds (only principal) this could have a a real impact.

Fix the real problems in these economies, and give them debt restructuring in return.    

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 10:31:21 AM EST

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