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How the eurozone crisis is affecting Germany
Image: Press Association Images
If you want to paint a picture of Germany's soul in the middle of the European fiscal crisis, choose a dark background, depict blurred structures in grey and don't even think of including artistic expressions of passionate emotions - neither joy nor rage. Not even hope.
Just try to visualise pessimism. Yes, pessimism. There's no better single word describing Germany's contemporary emotional landscape.
According to recent polls, 82% of Germans are pessimistic concerning the future of Europe. That's the highest value measured since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008. A sad majority of Germans simply look into the future; they do not look forward.
They watch the crisis just as an apathetic, uninterested teenager might watch Macbeth: seemingly passionless, indifferent, trying hard not fall asleep.
A nation without belief
The pessimistic majority in Germany has lost its belief: in the markets, in the idea of a united Europe and, first and foremost, in a political elite capable of controlling the unpredictable powers of the market.
What's left then? It's that belief in pessimism we have turned to. Four out of five Germans opine that the worst part of the crisis is still to come.
Pessimism as a psychological phenomenon is detectable all across Germany - infecting voters of every political party, in every region, every age and every education level.
Pessimism triggered by a heavy crisis endangering the wealth of an affluent society could be the starting point for protest, civil disobedience, rebellion and uprising - not in Germany, however.
We just seem to tolerate the status quo, and do not dedicate ourselves to any attempts to change the situation.
No desire for change
A return to the German Mark is not an option for the majority of them. What about a political change? Not likely. The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, does not have to worry about her people pushing for any change.
She does not even have to fear the anger of her people when Germany pays the major share of the Greek bailout deal. Germans seem to be too overwhelmed by an ever-present crisis to be alarmed by details like this.
Ignoring the fact that our country has been the paymaster for the eurozone's rescue fund, 60% of Germans believe that Angela Merkel has successfully represented German interests in the negotiations with other European leaders in the last weeks.
Let's zoom in on Frankfurt, in Germany's financial centre. Here, the anti-capitalism movement has lost its glamour - even before you could really call it a movement.
In other big cities, demonstrations have passed off smoothly without alarming anybody and hardly touching society on a large scale.
This is symbolic of the apathetic position that Germans hold. The pessimistic people in Europe's biggest economy are not heading for anger, uprising or protest. They are heading for nothing. Their pessimism is a dead-end road.
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Where do you got your information from??? This article is absolute wrong. There is a little bit of low
mood in Germany because of not knowing if everything works out fine. That is true, but there is a lot of positivity. The unemployment is the lowest since over 20 Years. The order books are full. This year so far they sold more cars than since beginning. Building and engineering is flourishing. They even make money out of the crisis. The National Football team plays like a dream.
With the crisis they found new confidence . Do not think the Germans are heading for nothing. I'm
sure their plan is to overcome the crisis and live in pease with their neighbours
Four out of five Germans opine that the worst part of the crisis is still to come.
Is it any wonder why Germany and the other European countries regard the UK's partcipation in the present crises as salutory? They probably see us like some chinese sage looking through a telescope sitting on the wire waiting to swoop at their slightest indiscretion.
Maybe the Germans do foresee what will become inevitable and are adopting the old maxim, "number one, look after ourselves." Are we not adopting the same here in the UK? We are posturing some referendum with respect to a participation in a union that is being presented as having no pragmatic future. Pessimism is the opposite of optimism and as we all know there's not much of it around these days.
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