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Is it time for Germany to leave the Eurozone?

Pressure has been put on Germany to help end the Eurozone’s dysfunction. If they do not choose to comply, the only option for them may be to exit.

Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble has received both praise and harsh criticism for his suggestion that Greece takes a ‘time out’ from the Eurozone.

In proposing that Greece could be better off outside the Euro, Schauble confirmed that the single currency was ‘reversible’ after all.

Having dishonoured the Euro’s rules, angry commentators have now suggested that it should be Germany, rather than Greece, whom should ditch the Euro, as a way of reminding Germany of its responsibilities to its continent.

In relation to the Eurozone’s economic position, according to the International Monetary Fund, Germany has a persistently high surplus which is reflected in its export industries, citing a reason for concern. The IMF has said such chronic imbalance also reflects “reluctance by the corporate sector to invest more in Germany” [1].

Ben Bernanke, the former Federal Reserve chief, also notes the surplus puts “all the burden of adjustment on countries with trade deficits, who must undergo painful deflation of wages and other costs to become more competitive” [1].

The initial adjustment between debtor and creditor nations, which started in 2008, “has halted since 2012 and seems to be on the verge of reversing”, find Standard & Poor’s [1].

Fiscal rectitude would recommend for Berlin to inject at least 2% of GDP into investment projects over the next four years, a target which the Government keeps falling short of.

Former IMF chief Ashoka Mody notes that a return to the deutsche mark would provide a boost to the Eurozone after the initial plummet in Euro value; “a deutsche mark would buy more goods and services in Europe (and in the rest of the world) than does a Euro today, the Germans would become richer in one stroke” [1].

[1] The Telegraph. ‘Why it’s time for Germany to leave the Eurozone’. http://www.telegraph.co.uk