Posts Tagged ‘Deutsche Mark’

Time to bring in an “Olive Euro” or to bring back the Deutsche Mark?

December 30, 2010

50 Deutsche Mark banknote: image

As long as there is no economic and fiscal union in Europe, the Euro is going to be plagued by the inherent weaknesses of errant nations. The current economic weakness in Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy and the political inability – or unwillingness – to deal with the simple financial housekeeping that any competent housewife would handle as a matter of course suggests that the fiscal union will never happen. Non-compliance with the stability rules by nations lead to few sanctions. This in turn leads to the question whether the Euro has any long term future in the absence of fiscal rectitude across all the participating nations.

100 Euro banknote from Germany

100 Euro banknote from Germany

The weakness of the Euro has in fact helped to boost exports from Germany and the relatively strong growth in Germany is mainly export driven. Nevertheless many Germans are beginning to worry about the value of their Euro when this value is being diluted by the “less responsible” nations. Germans are remembering that “German” Euro notes are easily identifiable (as are the notes printed in the different countries). There are calls for the German government to maintain the value of the “German” Euro when the Euro loses value! (German Euro banknotes can be identified by their serial number, which will always start with the letter “X”.) It is already noticeable that money changers in Asia are beginning to check the country of origin of the Euro banknotes they are dealing with. I can imagine their future reluctance to deal with notes having serial numbers beggining with “Y” (which would be a note from Greece). Some are calling for the Euro to be separated into a “Northern Euro” and an “Olive Euro”. It is only a short step to different values appearing unofficially for Euros from different countries.

Der Spiegel reports on the growing calls for the return of the Deutsche Mark:

Surveys show that many Germans are worried about the future of the euro, but the country’s political parties are not taking their fears seriously. The number of grassroots initiatives against the common currency is increasing, and political observers say a Tea Party-style anti-euro movement could do well.

Rolf Hochhuth is campaigning against the euro — and his stage is Germany’s Constitutional Court. “Why should we help rescue the Greeks from their sham bankruptcy?” he asks. “Ever since Odysseus, the world has known that the Greeks are the biggest rascals of all time. How is it even possible — unless it was premeditated — for this highly popular tourist destination to go bankrupt?”In the spring, he joined a group led by Berlin-based professor Markus Kerber that has filed a constitutional complaint against the billions in aid to Greece and the establishment of the European stabilization fund, which was set up in May 2010. Hochhuth wants the deutsche mark back. “I don’t know if this is possible. I only know that Germany lived very well with the mark.”

It’s an opinion that suddenly places this nearly 80-year-old man in a rather unusual position, at least for him: on the side of the majority of Germans.


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