Friday, May 20, 2011

German populism

Chancellor Angela Merkel made another dubious statement last night populist. It was in a 1500 speech to his party supporters in the town of Meschede, Germany deep in North Rhine-Westphalia. Although the German opposition does not present any fundamental objection or puts great problems, the status of low hours Merkel.

His party, the CDU does not come through good times and losing one election after another. Merkel faces new rescues, Portugal and Greece. Of Greece is the second, a warning about how bad the medicine applied, which however is ignored. In this context Merkel relaunch his message: "It is important that countries like Greece, Spain, Portugal people can not retire earlier than in Germany [...] We can not have a common currency and one has many holidays , and others very few [...] Germany only help if the others are struggling.

" The eurocrisis, a problem of uneven development that erupted as a result of the general financial fiasco, is reduced to a matter of different levels of national virtue. In this hierarchy Germany does well, is the hardest working and retire later, which has fewer holidays and who else pays the euro rescue fund, said the official.

Is it so? Not work unless According to OECD (Employment Outlook 2010 - Figures, 2009), the average annual working time of German workers is 1,390 hours. No holidays, that means about 5.5 hours per day. 30 days annual leave would be 6.26 hours. But many Germans do not work full time but part-time or in mini-jobs, so that the working week is significantly lower.

No single country in southern Europe where workers have a lower annual working time than the Germans. In Spain, the average annual hours per worker is 1654 hours in Portugal from 1710 hours to 1773 hours in Italy and Greece, leader, 2119 hours. No more holidays in the south So on vacation.

According to figures from the German Institute for Economic Affairs (IDW, Nr 43/2009) the minimum period of holiday in Greece is 23 days plus 10 holidays. In Spain is 22 days plus 14 holidays. In Italy 28 plus 11. In Germany, 24 days plus 10.5 public holidays. That is, Germany is slightly behind Spain and Italy but ahead of Greece.

But those in Germany have enjoyed full employment, thanks to agreements, with an average of 29.1 days of vacation. Added to the 10.5 public holidays, 39.6 days of vacation leave. On retirement retirement ages offers Eurostat (2009) are very similar: 62.6 years in Germany, 62.0 in Spain and 62.3 in Greece, 62.8 in Italy ....

And some of these countries have adopted the reform to 67 as a goal, like Germany - but, according to plan, Spain will abide by. Germany was not the paymaster of Europe Another myth is that of Germany as a great payer. In the euro rescue fund of 700,000 million, Germany is the highest paying in absolute terms for the simple reason that it is the largest country in population (80 million) and the largest economy in the eurozone (30%).

So your cash deposit to the mechanism of stability of the euro (21,700 million) and guarantees (168,300 million) are the greatest. France, which has a population 20% less than Germany, contributes to the bottom with 16,300 million in cash and 126,400 million in guarantees, Italy with 14,300 million and 111,100 million, respectively, and Spain as well: 9500 million in cash and 73,800 million guarantees.

As the population paying the highest in the eurozone is Luxembourg, with 398 euros per inhabitant. Germany is far, with 265 euros per capita, in sixth place on seventeen. According to the percentage of GDP devoted to the common effort, even further back: Germany goes to the tenth position, with Malta as a leader and behind Portugal, Estonia, Slovenia, Italy and Spain.

Both the population criterion as the performance of its economy, are closer to reality than the absolute figures. The difference is that none of those countries mentioned hear a complaint against payment. Only the government and the German media (not just the vulgar Bild Zeitung, but also means that serious claim as Die Zeit) armed with this shady deal scandal.

Berlusconización So what Merkel speaks? Simply expresses what Jürgen Habermas, the most famous living German philosopher, calls "berlusconización of Germany." The chancellor simply does demagoguery. The German commentator Jens Berger, exposing some of the above data, notes that rather than promoting shorter working hours and a retirement that allows them to enjoy retirement, Chancellor practice, "a European competition in welfare cuts and promotes discrimination through falsehoods.

" Berger believes that this line, Merkel promotes resentment in Europe and Germany in Europe. That this be done from Athens or Barcelona, it would be unfortunate, but almost irrelevant to Europe. From Germany since the country needs most economically to Europe, because it is where it sells the bulk of its exports, is very serious.

The European crisis has to do with the Union's inability to assert an anti-crisis program to end the economic order that put the euro at its current hole and now leads the European Union to a second bump with the same recipe. The German contribution to this failure is still considerable.

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