Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel Addresses Bundestag © Bloomberg
Bloomberg: Germany Is Calling the Shots in Europe and Merkel Isn’t Sorry (Bloomberg) — When Berlin broke with its frugal tradition and opened the spending taps this year, a senior official in the German Economy Ministry was flabbergasted that the European Commission griped instead of showing gratitude.
For years, Germany was reprimanded by the commission — the European Union’s powerful executive arm — as well as the U.S. and the IMF for what’s been called a “fetish” for balancing its budget. Now that it had unleashed 1.2 trillion euros ($1.4 trillion), EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager complained it would give German companies an unfair edge.
So Germany decided to assert itself. Rather than air displeasure in public, officials mounted a forceful lobbying operation behind the scenes in defense of spending plans, according to a senior figure familiar with the discussions, who spoke on condition of anonymity. It worked.
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WNU Editor: Economic power talks. And in Europe it is Germany that has the economic clout to call the shots.