No one country in the EU is responsible for the effects in the others.. Especially not Germany (the US, Japan, the UK all had comparable, if not lower rates). Each of the governments are responsible for their problems. Anyone remember Solbes, he warned PSOE that what they were doing would bankrupt the country and leave it a lame duck, but no one would heed his words.. Italy had Prodi, he was voted out because he wanted cuts and savings when the EU was just starting to explode. I bet every country had their Solbes or Prodi and it was the voters who were not interested in listening to them.
Europe and western world has one massive problem (they confuse Responsibility with Rights).. Everyone looks to the right and left and sees their friends or fellow works living ‘better’ than them, and so they do not think they need to sacrifice (or take responsibility), it is the other person who needs to start sacrificing before they will accept it..
They are happy to clam/demand rights but want no responsibility.
Oh yeah, Germany is responsible and should pay.
Germany exports have grown from 24% of GDP in 1995 to 46% in 2010 while those of France, Italy and Spain have stayed level at 26%.
The DM was very strong as compared to the Peseta and Italian Lira. After 2002, the German exports became much more attractive as the Euro was weaker than the DM. On the other hand , the Italioan and Spanish exports became much less attractive.
At some point in 2002-2005 Germany was relatively weak and needed a low interest rate, but at that time a low interest rate was catastrophic for Ireland or Spain and led to housing booms. Germans did not care about Ireland or Spain or Greece, they cared about their own.
Humans being greedy by nature, if was natural that the Spanish and Irish took advantage of the low interest rates and over-indulge, there is no doubt about it.
But one should go the original sin, not to the consequences. And the original sin was a German one not a Spanish one.
Yes and I think one or two German banks also took advantage of the situation in 2002-2005 to sell easy credit to the Greeks and the Spanish so they could buy their BMWs and pull Germany out of recession. It would be helpful if Germany would now start importing Spanish and Greek goods to return the favour, but instead Germany is imposing austerity measures on her people and tightening money.
However, irrespective of whether Germany has purposely behaved in this way or not, the fact that it has the biggest economy in the eurozone means it influences the metrics of the eurozone economy more than any other country, which means actions taken by the ECB will always be biased towards Germany. The whole system is intrinsically screwed. Any countries with economies not in cycle with that of Germany were doomed from the start.