Everyone in the West without exception should view with sobriety the state of the global economy in which no country in the West and countries of the Caribbean in particular are exempted from the fall-out of the economic turmoil that is looming on the horizon.
Germany is demanding austerity for its fiscal help with the stalling economies of Portugal, Spain, Italy and presently Greece. This stance on the current Greek crisis is understandable though it may be imprudent, due to the economic disruption that is expected to follow. The answer in part as to why Chancellor Merkel is demanding austerity may lie to some extent in the history of Europe and Germany in particular.
Germany was economically penalized under the treaty of Versailles, which in today’s equivalent would amount to just under a half trillion dollars. These conditions destroyed their economy and led to the rise of Hitler and of course World War 2. This resulted in the utter destruction and partition of German in 1945, West Germany was rebuilt under the Marshall Plan by the United States. The unification of East and West Germany occurred approximately 22 years ago; these historic events are important to know and probably give an insight to the intransigence by Germany on the question of austerity.
This stance may lie largely in their past history, regional politics past and present, revenge, quiet accomplishment of past regional ambitions, and natural German frugality may all be at play presently. The Euro-zone will survive no doubt, but Germany will emerge the dominant power in western and southern Europe. This will be achieved through the need for greater integration of the member states of the Euro-zone in order for the common currency to survive.
The country that is fiscally able to underwrite such integration but also has the supporting institutions as well as the most highly skilled, disciplined and educated population on the continent, as well as a population that prides itself on paying its taxes as part of their national duty is Germany. Germany will orchestrate the survival of the Euro-zone, it will budge a bit on the question of austerity, but it will not give its money away freely. All others will have to line up behind them including France and rightly so.
Greece was given entry to the European Union not because they were qualified economically but because of their central role in Western history, while Turkey, though economically viable, was denied entry to the Europe Union because of that same history and the role of Greece. Greeks unlike the Germans, do not pay their taxes -- it is estimated that as much as 60 percent of Greeks do not pay their taxes. The world now waits as the Euro saga unfolds with Germany as the main player. It is interesting how history has come full circle in a strange way.