Many myths have accrued around the question of Germany’s European policy, myths that do not make it easier to fully grasp the gravity of today’s situation. At least two of those beg for explanation.
The first myth says that Germany – the greatest beneficiary of the single currency and Europe’s largest economy – has renounced its solidarity with the rest of the continent and turned its back on it. In reality, without Germany’s support the eurozone would have crashed long ago. Over the last three years, Berlin has offered over 200 billion euros in loans and credit guarantees to troubled eurozone member states.
The second myth holds that – despite the crisis – Germany has it so good today that the country has lost its interest in Europe and instead looks for partners in countries like China or Brazil. Granted, it was trade with those countries that drove Germany’s growth in the first quarter of 2012 despite the deteriorating market conditions.