John F Kennedy made this phrase famous nearly 50 years ago in his dramatic speech in West Germany. I have a sneaky suspicion that those of us not holding the belief that the profligate are entitled to help from the afflient will be echoing similar sentiments in the weeks to come.
If, over the next few weeks, the Germans indeed refuse to be blackmailed into bailing out the Greeks, I think at least few people around the world should show their support for the Germans. For sure, the self-righteous, good Samaritans will pile on the Germans and insist that it is the Germans' duty to help out a neighbour; while economists will point out that Germany will be shooting itself in the foot if the Euro project collapses.
The economists have hinted that Germany has gained the most from the single currency and must therefore save the Euro. Even German ministers have said this .
Germany has been accused of dithering (many times over) and have been accused of increasing debt burden of other countries. In a round-about fashion, the Economist has even accused the Germans of being part of the problem-creators -
"None of this is to say that Germany is the main cause of the euro’s crisis. As much or more blame lies with those that spent irresponsibly, failed to reform in good times and were blind to property bubbles."
Huh. How does that work?
But all this chatter overlooks some basic facts. Germany has contributed the most Euros for the Euro project. It is the biggest donor country, it is the country that has chipped in the most for bail-outs. The Germans work harder, work longer hours, retire later than some of the Euro citizens they have been bailing out. And it is considered deplorable if Merkel considers what ordinary Germans think about the bailout. Pish tosh. If I were German I would be participating in all protest marches against giving money away. German efficiency, German pragmatism and German faith in the all-for-one Euro project have been exploited enough. Fiscal union is just another way of saying Germany will pay for pet projects of governments across the Euro.
Thanks to messrs Sergey Brin and Larry Page, I can write that I will offer "Internet-support" for any move from the Germans to not support everyone else. I know it is not worth much, but I just thought I will say this any way.
Ich bin ein Berliner