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Zeise, Lucas

Financial Times Deutschland

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Financial Times Deutschland - Germany | 16/02/2011

Competitiveness pact a political placebo

Discussion continues over the German-French proposal for a "competitiveness pact", which foresees the progressive standardisation of Europe's retirement age, educational diplomas and labour costs. The liberal daily Financial Times Deutschland wants nothing to do with the plan: "In keeping with the wishes of Ms Merkel the rest of the Eurozone will now also be blessed with wage pressure, social welfare cuts, neglect of the infrastructure and so on. In this way even Greece and Portugal are supposed to become competitive. But the plan is abstruse. The means adopted will do nothing to advance the intended goals. Even taken in themselves they're a liability. The Merkel-Sarkozy initiative is a sort of political placebo measure meant to feign the presence of something that doesn't exist, namely a new political concept for the monetary union. This is urgently needed. But unfortunately we cannot assume that those responsible for financial policy in Germany will act rationally on this matter. Should they have their way regardless it becomes all the more likely that the monetary union will fail."

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