Brexit: Angela Merkel labelled a 'heroine' by Jackson
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Marcel Fratzscher is the president of the German Institute for Economic Research and believes his country’s economic model is now “increasingly holding back our competitiveness and prosperity”. The academic claimed that with longstanding Chancellor Angela Merkel stepping down after 16 years at the helm next month, Germany is now at a “crossroads”.
Writing in German newspaper Die Zeit, he warned that the perception the country’s successes over the past decade were the “result of good politics is a dangerous illusion”.
He added: “It was the result of luck.
“German companies were able to benefit more than others from the export boom in the rapidly growing emerging markets of Asia.
“And they benefited from the employment miracle, which brought more than three million additional people into the German labour market, primarily through the immigration of young, highly motivated Europeans and the increasing employment of very well-qualified women.
“The most important contribution of the economic policy of the four governments of Angela Merkel was not the active support of the economic situation, but the securing of stability and a remarkably successful handling of the four major crises during this period: the global financial crisis and the European economic crisis between 2008 and 2012, the high immigration of refugees from 2015 and the corona pandemic.
“In doing so, the Chancellor usually showed excellent intuition to say and do the right thing at the right moment, thereby creating trust and ensuring stability – not only for Germany, but also for Europe.”
But Mr Fratzscher claimed there was “hardly any formative economic policy” and the 2008 crash was not used to reform “Germany’s inefficient financial system”.
In every crisis the country has faced in recent years it has not taken advantage of the upheaval to reform failing institutions, he claimed.
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This has led to much of the global economy overtaking “the German model, which is increasingly acting as a brake on the country’s global competitiveness and prosperity”.
The news emerged shortly after Ms Merkel was savaged by one of her closest allies for signing a deal with Joe Biden to ensure the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline connecting Russia with Germany goes ahead.
German MEP Manfred Weber claimed that the decision is “detrimental” to the whole of the EU.
The CDU politician, leader of the EPP in the European Parliament, said the German leader should have consulted the EU Council before entering into negotiations with the US President on the issue.
Mr Weber told Die Welt: “The decision for Nord Stream 2 is to the detriment of Europe as a whole and of Ukraine.
“Without the services of ex-SPD Chancellor Schröder for Putin, the pipeline would have been hardly conceivable.”
He added that “this is a heavy burden.”
Germany should “in future discuss and decide more in a European context” on projects of this size and closely cooperate with European partners, he continued.
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg
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