Thursday, March 12, 2009

a note from Mitteleuropa

got an interesting email from a client this morning:

Hello from good old Europe Kyle,

and thank you for your notes on the Euro. True that most people here think that this crisis is american-made and they have real problems to admit that they were and are just as greedy as all Homo Sapiens on this planet.
But there is another disadvantage about the Euro nobody is talking about: Its the lack of solidarity among european nations. When it comes to saving nations like Ireland, Italy, Spain or Greece german politicians are primarily refusing to give money for them because they know well enough that electors are refusing the idea. I am living in Bavaria, one of the wealthier "Bundesländer" in Germany, but every year there is a debate among Bavarians (and that is the primary identity people here feel), if we should give more money to Berlin, Bremen or eastern Germany. Now guess how Bavarians feel about giving money to Greece.........
The Euro worked well in a growing economy when everybody was winning: We were transferring money to the Greek and Spaniards and they bought our BMWs. Thats over. The Euro will fall apart because it is not a Nations currency. The historic truth in this region here between Traunstein and Salzburg is that it belonged for centuries to the archbishops of Salzburg, not even to Bavaria. And it is a relatively new construct for people here to belong to Berlin (since 1918); apart from that they have no idea wre Brussels is. So why should they transferr their money there? You can find many regional examples like this all over Europe and people feel the same everywhere.

Regards A.