Dealing with the credit crunch in Europe is a perfect illustration of the conflict between Anglo-Americans approaches to a solution and the ones the Germans insist upon. The United States criticizes Angela Merkel for not going far enough. They want her to boost the bailout fund to trillions of euros so that it can deal with anything.
What do the Germans say? They insist on a haircut.
Anglo-Americans believe in the broad sweep of democracy. They extend it to the lowest common denominator approach and try not t o leave anybody out. The Germans believe in setting a standard and expecting everybody else to live up to it. If others don’t live up to it, too bad. They may have invented socialism, but it’s only for those who live in Germany, the “folk”.
So the English and the Americans can keep on telling Angela Merkel and Wolfgang Schauble to do more for Greece. The Germans will continue to insist that the Greeks must cut back and practice more austerity until their budget is in order. It doesn’t matter how long it takes or how many Greeks riot in the streets. Nor do they care what Jean Claude Trichet says about the “United States of Europe”.
The Germans remember the 1923 hyper-inflation as if it were yesterday. They fear to print more money to keep everybody happy. They think such practices are at best a short-term solution inviting long-term disaster.