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The ECB won’t save the day, but Germany might

November 14, 2011 1 comment

As things stand in the Eurozone the European Central Bank (ECB) is incapable of providing the much needed status of Lender of Last Resort. It is prohibited from printing money by the Maastricht Treaty, but it is able to buy government bonds as part of its function to maintain price stability. As had been experienced last week when there was a run on Italian and Spanish bonds, the ECB bought bonds to force the price down, and thus stable (for a short period of time).

As has been pointed out by Paul Krugman, the crisis that is currently striking the Eurozone is a result of an imbalance of payments. Germany, thus, needs to spend. It’s very rarely that I praise George Osborne, but he has said:

“If you think of currency unions, here in the United Kingdom or in the United States, we do transfer money around the country in order to try and get greater equality in the economy. I’m afraid that needs to happen in the euro, because we are not there yet and the instability is having a huge effect.”

This is crucial for the survival of the Euro. A monetary union requires a fluid movement of capital across the union. So far, the Euro has been a disappoint. A monetary union without the necessary sacrifices to make it work. I believe it has only worked through a series of fortunate circumstances, such as a prolonged period of growth. 2008/9 was the the first time the Eurozone had experienced a recession in its 10 plus year history. Now that a sovereign debt crisis has struck the southern economies of Greece, Italy and company – which was created by the cheap and easy credit of the noughties – it is the first time where the Euro has been tested to its limits. Its limits have proven to be woefully weak.

But progress is being made, on the political stage. On Monday, at a Christian Democrat Union (CDU) Conference, Merkel was reported to have pressed for an economic and political union in the Eurozone. @EPPTweet tweeted earlier: RT @SMuresan#Merkel at #CDUpt11: “We have to complete monetary and economic union and pave the way for political union in #Europe” #epp

This is a step in the right direction, but there also remains a stumbling block – the German constitution. We shall see what happens, but progress is being made and the faults of the Euro are, apparently, in the process of being corrected.

 

Lewe through Sprachen

September 26, 2010 Leave a comment

As it is multi-lingual blogging day, I thought I would try my hand at blogging in different languages. As English is my mother-tongue I shall attempt to switch between English and other languages which I am capable at speaking, but not writing, Afrikaans and Deutsche.

With English as my first language I am cursed with the ‘English Disease’ of being able to go most places in the world without having to try other languages. Foreign Languages are no longer cumplusory through the education system and it is a real shame.

Ek het besluit om verskillende tale, veral onbekende Duitse gebaseer tale te leer, omdat dit die brein ontwikkel en verhoog kulturele bewustheid.

Ich glaube, dass Sprachen obligatorisch sein sollte in das Bildungssystem, so dass die englischen Fluch aufgehoben ist und wir als ein Land, kann über unsere kulturellen Grenzen zu erweitern und reduzieren den Einfluss des kulturellen Imperialismus der Amerikaner.

People without English as their first language try very hard to learn a very complex and illogical language so that our world, as English speakers, are open to them. Our arrogance is becoming our downfall.

Terwyl China ‘n meer dominante krag op die internasionale toneel, sal Engels word minder belangrik. As die regionalisering van die wêreld lewend is, sal ons taal arrogansie sluit ons uit Europa en die ontwikkelende lande.

Deshalb haben wir, wie englische Muttersprachler, müssen unsere härtesten versuchen, andere Sprachen zu lernen, nicht nur im Sprechen sie aber auch im Lesen und Schreiben können. In einer wirklich globalisierten Welt müssen wir umarmen Divisionen und sie zu überwinden, nicht durch Überheblichkeit, sondern durch sprachliche und kulturelle Bewusstsein.

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