“They will bomb us like they did Yugoslavia!”
It is difficult to say whether the Federal Republic of Germany is triumphant or sad because of the victory of the coalition of Germany’s Social Democratic Party and the Greens, and Gerhard Schroeder is to keep his post at that. Analysts say that world financial markets will hardly become enthusiastic about the victory. Moreover, during the elections, European shares dropped to the lowest level registered within the past five years. Experts are sure that Schroeder’s unconvincing triumph may result in the collapse of the euro.
Europe is actively discussing the victory of light-minded Schroeder (Germans themselves call him this way) and the economic consequences that may follow. Analyst with DZ Bank Dorothea Hutannus says as quoted by RBC that “the unconvincing results of the elections are the worst possible outcome for the euro.” Economist with DekaBank Andreas Schuerle says that it would be better if only one party won the elections.
The skeptic opinions among the majority of European economists are based upon the fact that the economic reforms carried out by Gerhard Schroeder before the elections were not distinct and marketable enough. The Federal Republic of Germany is one of the most economically developed EU members. However, all efforts of the federal government headed by Schroeder aimed at the reduction of the unemployment rate came to nothing: the unemployment rate is still not lower than 10% of the able-bodied population of Germany. What is more, there is no doubt that it will increase. This is because of American investors who have turned against the chancellor, but who are at the same time known as a strong determinant of the economic climate in the Old World.
RBC thinks that a statement by one of New York’s Citibank top managers and President of the US Chamber of Commerce, Fred Irvin, is just more evidence of such dislike. He said that American investors are not going to invest in Germany’s economy. Fred Irvin is sure that US companies are unlikely to invest in Germany, as no economic reforms are being carried out. American investors are probably suspicious of the German Social-democratic leader because of his attempts to build a truly German foreign policy. Even though the newly elected chancellor usually denies any serious discrepancies between the USA and its European allies, he always insists that Europe (and Germany as well) has its particular place in the world and, consequently, its particular role.
Strict criticism of the US-British military operation against Iraq can hardly win US sympathies for Gerhard Schroeder. The recent comparison of George W. Bush with Hitler by Schroeder’s closest associate, Minister of Justice Herta Daubler-Gmelin, caused hails of protest and anger in the USA. No matter how absurd it may sound, it seems that Gerhard Schroeder and his party, trying to build a truly German foreign policy, became an enemy of America.
It looks as though Germany has finally awakened from its 50-year-long sleep, which had crept over the country after Germany's defeat in WWII the abundant American investments that made for the German economic wonder.
As it turned out, Germany doesn’t really like “Great America” and wishes to follow its own path, not instructions from Washington. However, Germany's is only now awakening. We remember a discussion by the German political scientist and philosopher Anne Roerig two years ago, when she was asked why Germany wasn’t expanding obviously profitable political and economic relations with Russia and wasn’t following a more independent policy. The woman exclaimed: “But the Americans will then bomb us the same way they did Yugoslavia!” It is a rather significant answer.
In any case, experts say that Schroeder’s victory is unlikely to have positive results. A sudden drop in the euro rate is the least we should be ready for.
Dmitry Slobodanuk PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/09/23/47464.html
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