Angela Merkel Speaking

Financial turbulence in Europe

Reforming the Eurozone

April 2012, Number 03.02

“In the heat of the debt crisis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel made an admission that clarified for many the stark choices facing Europe: Rolling government debt too far into the future was no longer an option for Germany because there was no guarantee the country’s aging population could cover the bills once they came due. In a nutshell, Merkel illustrated the problems facing the European Union’s “social market economy.” Lavish retirement and welfare benefits begun during the vibrant years of the post-World War II boom may not be affordable in an era of declining population, slower economic growth and waning competitiveness.

“The new German problem is that the future of the eurozone and of Europe rests on the dominant German economy, but the long-term prospects of German demographics are daunting,” a United Press International article said in 2011. “After three decades of dwindling birth rates there will simply not be enough Germans of working age to sustain the burden.”

This analysis suggests that even if the eurozone emerges from the crisis that began in Greece and bled into countries such as Italy, the respite may only be temporary...”

Excerpt from per Concordiam Staff, “Reforming the Eurozone,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 3, No. 2, 2012: 58-61.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.