May 15, 2013 in Euro Crisis
Well it certainly is in southern Europe and most emerging markets and especially South Africa.
BUT NOT in Germany.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ for short), which regular readers will by now know is my current favourite Sunday reading, had the most remarkable open letter two weeks ago by their editor Winand von Petersdorff (aged 49) to his son Jost (aged 19).
His advice to his son, you generation will be assured of jobs. You can take your time to pick the best opportunity.
Absolutely remarkable. No editor of a Spanish or French or Greek or South African newspaper can write the same. The German economy is on the brink of full employment! Already four of the German Länder (Provinces) have full employment.
How did this happen? First of all demography. The Baby Boomers are on the verge or retiring and the German Baby Boomers had fewer children than their equivalents in the rest of Europe and the emerging world. The potential work force is so much diminshed.
Secondly the German economy took the pain before the crisis began. In an era where people are by default cynical about politicians, the previous German Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder stands out as unique in sacrificing his political career for the future well-being of Germany. He negotiated a new treaty with the unions, benefits were contained, all the things Germany now demand from southern Europe, before the crisis struck. That is why the German economy can now carry its able working population and the future for German youth looks so rosy.
If Angela Merkel is so imposing a leader (and she must rank as far as female statesmen go with Catherine the Great, Elizabeth I and Margaret Thatcher) it is because she is standing on the shoulder of giant, Gerhard Schröder (to take a quote from Isaac Newton).
Looking for a job? Learn German my young friend!