Chancellor Angela Merkel hit the nail on the head when she said that people in
Germany “have never had it so good”. The country’s economic success is no
fleeting episode, however. It is a phenomenon of the period since the Second
World War achieved in spite of significant challenges such as post-war
rebuilding, a EUR 2 tn reunification cost, the global financial crisis, and
problems across the single currency area.
Indeed, Germany’s economic and political stability is unique among the major
developed countries. The UK may spend years battling with Brexit. In France
and Italy, essential reforms are being derailed by a lack of political resolve and
by resistance from vested interests. Japan appears caught in a deflation trap,
while China’s financial system is fragile. Amidst all of this, Germany remains an
anchor of steadiness with an undisputed role as leader in Europe.
It is therefore
the only country that comes close to being on a par with America.