Over at the blog of the London Review of Books, I wrote a short review of Thilo Sarrazin’s latest work, “Germany Doesn’t Need the Euro.”
Sarrazin’s arguments are far from convincing. But he has, once again, struck a nerve. Many Germans agree that the euro’s introduction was a misguided form of penance for the past. German newspapers rarely discuss the euro’s contribution to German growth, or the effects that a chaotic breakdown of the single currency might have for Germany. There is surprisingly little discussion of how the country’s self-interest might, in the long run, be served. Cheered on by Sarrazin, people instead ask themselves whether, 67 years after the end of the Third Reich, Germany still has a moral obligation to pay for Greece’s profligacy. Once the question is put in those terms, it’s hardly surprising that, according to a recent poll, 60 per cent of Germans want to see Greece leave the eurozone and 79 per cent oppose the introduction of eurobonds.