Not only the economy ” “

The euro and the European Union: which signs are arriving from Germany?

On the day of the elections, past September 22, our neighbours viewed Germany with a certain degree of apprehension, given its special place within the European Union. In particular, at the centre of the attention was the euro-sceptic party Alternative für Deutschland (AFD, Alternative for Germany), which still didn’t manage to gain Parliament seats, with great relief on the part of political leaders in Germany and abroad. AFD managed to bring 2 million voters who reject the common currency to the polls, and criticise support to Countries in crisis. Also the post-Communist party Die Linke (the right) has assumed an attitude of protest, gaining 8.5% of all votes.These are signs of danger, even though the Christian Democrats (CDU-CSU), Social-democrats (SPD) and the Greens (Die Grünen), which together represent a fourth of all votes, support the European path undertaken by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.Moreover, the relative success of AFD shows that current European politics, or rather, the costly policies aimed at supporting Countries in crisis, has not been explained clearly enough, also because it will take time before this policy becomes operative and its success becomes visible, while the negative and social impact of reform and austerity policies, critical to the economic recovery of these countries, are under everyone’s eyes to see. The chancellery has repeatedly referred to its policy as “alternative”, but it probably didn’t clarify why the options presented by the right and left wing are not effective.The Alternative for Germany stemmed from conservative intellectuals, most of whom are economy professors, based on the principle that economically wrong decisions cannot be corrected on the political plane. It is obvious that these professors pretend to always know what the economic approach should be. But it’s also true that based on our experience all those economists who express their views regarding current events, notably European monetary policy, provide completely different answers. Economic experts rarely reach an agreement when tasked with taking a decision or identifying urgent measures critical to the overcoming of the crisis caused by over-indebtedness in some euro zone countries and by the violation of established norms.AFD spokespersons claim that differences between attitudes, structures and traditions of Countries adopting the euro currency are insurmountable, and therefore the correct performance of monetary union is impossible. They therefore suggest that those countries whose economic policies and relations whose savings do not correspond to a given standard, reintroduce their national currency so as not to be subjected to a rigour they are not used to. After the depreciation they could redress their deficit through competitiveness.It cannot be denied that from a purely economic, short-term angle such recommendations make no sense. But the matter at stake is not purely economic. Rather, it is a question of avoiding member States’ backing out from monetary union, and preventing their bankruptcy. The euro has been and continues being an effect of a long-term political project, while the monetary union is an integrating part of the European Union. Its members in need have the right to reservoirs of solidarity, providing that there is the willingness to uproot the causes of their problems through reforms and savings.Political projects entail the fact that in terms of its political implementation and development economic aspects should play a secondary role, although they obviously must not be overlooked. A political project is a result of creative determination, that could bring heavy costs to its realization. But in case of success, the sums invested in the project are a source of revenue, much greater than the material advantages of a purely economic project.The political will to make plans aims at obtaining sustainable changes in the relations between States and in the restructuring of the international order of an federate association of European nations and States. The expected result is the sustainable development of Member States on the economic and social planes, along with the peaceful coexistence marked by solidarity across the continent, and competitiveness in a global context.The political dimension of European integration efforts is often disregarded by euro-sceptical critics, who often deliberately fail to acknowledge it because it simply does not correspond to their own theories.

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