Sir, Redistributing their countrymen’s money is what Germany’s Social Democrats have proved to be really good at for decades. But these days it is not only about more “goodies” to be spread in Germany, but increasingly around the EU. French president Emmanuel Macron’s outstretched hand for more Europe has already been interpreted by SPD leader Martin Schulz as “a new dawn for Europe” and an “end to the diktat of austerity”. Great marketing ploys, but inherently bad policy proposals by the party-book career politician.
Does nobody really realise that the traditional planification française is on the march again? That is, not only broadening the coffers for transfers but institutionalising the whole system at the same time, away from the control of the German Bundestag and on the basis of a slippery European oversight with cumbersome decision-making instead (“ Merkel pressed on transfer union fears”, February 6).
More, and more easily available, transfer money might stop structural reform efforts in their tracks in countries such as Italy and France, or at best slow those measures down substantially. Show us results of these reforms first, then we have a much better basis on which to “show you the money”. Otmar Issing, the European Central Bank’s former chief economist, is absolutely right that nothing more than the stability of the EU is at stake.
The coalition will be expensive enough (less tax relief but more social “goodies”); hopefully it will not be completely unaffordable in view of Europe.
Dr Reinhard Fischer
London SW14, UK
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