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Is Germany leading a European economic recovery?

09:42 UK time, Friday, 13 August 2010

The German economy grew by 2.2% in the three months to the end of June, its fastest quarterly growth in more than 20 years, while the French economy grew by 0.6% in the quarter. Is this a sign of recovery for Europe?

The Spanish economy, meanwhile, grew by 0.2% in the second quarter, compared with growth of 0.1% in the previous three months, its National Statistics Institute said.

Growth figures for the rest of the eurozone will be published later.

The German statistics agency, Destatis, says its numbers can partly be explained by a sustained period of export growth, as Germany's manufacturing sector begins to recover the markets it lost in 2009.

Are you in Germany? Do you think this is a sign of recovery for Europe's economies? How encouraging are the figures? Will it help to alleviate some of the pressure on the eurozone?

Thank you for sending your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    Well isnt this interesting! If I remember rightly it was the Germans who mostly opposed Brown's policy of continued fiscal stimulus (posh talk for giving failed bankers more money)

    Further evidence if any were needed that the Government of Gordon Brown was financially inept.

  • Comment number 2.

    You can never put the Germans down: hard working, attention to detail & just grinding on regardless. I wish we British have 10% of the German spirit.

  • Comment number 3.

    Is Germany leading a European economic recovery?

    Nope, they're leading a German recovery.

    Every country is in different circumstances.

    For example, between labours 'spending bender' of their last months in power and Mr Cameron going out of his way to destroy consumer confidence witth his bleak forecasts, the UK is a long way from recovery.

    Add to that the fact the British Public are still bailing out the banks - All Uk banks borrow from the bank of England at 0.5% then lend that money to us at between 4-5% interest (a goverment recommended mark-up of a factor of 10) and it'll be along time before the british public gets out from under this burden.

  • Comment number 4.

    This is really easily explained - arent the Germans the only people in Europe, except Poland, who actually make anything these days?

  • Comment number 5.

    Yes, isnt it strange that most countries in the old EU, France, Germany, Holland, Italy etc all turn in better results than the UK, a country that stiil thinks it is a leading world power, when in reality it is exporting bananas.

  • Comment number 6.

    Of course they are, it was inevitable: their government didn't wipe out their car manufacturing industry.

    And seeing as there isn't a topic about this yet, maybe Dave could have saved a bit more cash by not giving jobs out to his billionaire chums, who will undoubtedly be paid a hell of a lot more than equally experienced, but lesser mortals. Why do the Tories always assume that only the rich know how to run the country?

  • Comment number 7.

    Long live the Eu Eh!
    How
    why
    when
    Over crowding
    No jobs
    the same as britian but!!

  • Comment number 8.

    No, they are leading a German recovery. Sham a certain G Brown didn't follow them.

  • Comment number 9.

    I noted on the Today programme we got the same old argument from the British financial establishment that the Germans aren't doing "their bit" by getting their population to spend, spend, spend a la Viv Nicholson. Nicely shot down in flames by Norbert who pointed out that the birth rate was low in Germany and their "baby boomers" were all saving for their retirement. He also stuck the knife in when he pointed out that they were individuals taking responsibility for their own future. Something I believe the millionaires club who run this government keep harping on about!!!

    Norbert also pointed out that the Germans were already making inroads into the BRIC economies with their exports.

    The British economic system is a textbook example of what happens when short termism is the bible of the financial sector. We should have been looking years ago at the best bits of the German system. They may not produce huge returns in the short term but long term they outpace the so called Anglo Saxon model.

  • Comment number 10.

    I was listening to a commentator on the television this morning talking about this. One thing he said struck me; "The Germans are immensely proud of their manufacturing sector. The country is full of people who just love to make things".

    There was a time that the same could have been said of this country. That was before we came to value people who make money far more than those who make things.



  • Comment number 11.

    'Is Germany leading a European economic recovery'? is the HYS question.

    Germany did have a strong manufacturing base before the recession, and it's products do have a good reputation.

    Germany was already leading the way in innovation, and investment/building green energy products and recycling/waste management systems for export globally.

    The diverse and forward-thinking economy of Germany, before the banking crisis, that caused the downturn, has enabled Germany to improve it's growth? In addition, Germany tended to keep it's manufacturing in Germany, maintaining employment, rather than the cul-de-sac of outsourcing.

    Germany has also been a major contributor to the European Bank to assist the stabilisation of the Euro? So well done Germany - perhaps more European countries' leaders should examine the long-term German business model and learn from that?

  • Comment number 12.

    The comment above, by TheyCallMeTheWonderer, is incorrect: the Germans applied strong measures of fiscal stimulus. They are doing well because they don't rely so extremely on financial services and an overblown housing market. Further, Germans pay a much greater proportion of their income in tax, which softens the blow of recession. If you become unemployed, your income does not crash, so the economic consequences of unemployment that follow in the UK (reduced consumer spending, repossession, long-term health problems, and so on) do not occur.

    We need to stop trying to emulate the brutality of the US economy; the German model of higher taxes and much greater social provision creates a fairer, less divided society.

  • Comment number 13.

    I would recommend everybody in the UK visit Germany. It is an eye opener. Genuine giant factories everywhere. Massive barges by the hundred loaded with exports going down the Rhine, proper houses being built in the style of the town they are in, spotless streets, free public transport for tourists in some regions. It must be great not having to pay for wars everywhere, and nuclear submarines fleets. With banks and trade unions that are in partnership with business to create growth. With business people who believe in training staff, and investing. Ok, it's got problems and it's not Heavan, but if I were a young man I would consider moving there, or practically anywhere in the North of Europe. What is the main difference between us and them? The money we have wasted everyday for the last 65 years on 'Defence' that they did not. Same is true of Japan.

  • Comment number 14.

    "The greedy bankers in the U.K. have cause all our probelms" but were not allowed to in Germany thats why they are better than the U.K.

  • Comment number 15.

    A sign of German recovery.
    But its hardly unexpected - after all the Germans buy German (sensible enough), but so does the British government, councils, people.
    While the German police buy German, the French police French, the Italian police Italian, our police shun British and buy German.
    The same goes for councils (Mercedes vans while we support ex LDV workers), the Ambulance service (no more Bedford for them, Mercs again), the Fire (more Mercs)... When a country is supplying two countries of demand they will grow and succeed. When the BRITISH government prefers to support a foreign economy rather than their own ours will never succeed.
    Its made worse by the automatic assumption by all the idiots in this country that we can't make anything, anything we do make is rubbish and that the Germans are by definition better. Its simply not true - if it was they wouldn't have bought Rolls, Bentley, Rover (yeah I know they threw it away once they'd taken all the info they needed)...
    Top Gear and its ilk don't help - if its a German car its fantastic... well, it wouldn't matter if it erupted in smoke and the wheels fell off it would still be fantastic.... Of course, helped by the British government they have money for R&D into how to stop wheels falling off after all.

    No. The news means one thing, and one thing only, it means the Germans will have lower unemployment, lower taxes, better services, better living standards than we will ever get - funded by us!

  • Comment number 16.

    8. At 11:05am on 13 Aug 2010, recrec wrote:
    No, they are leading a German recovery. Sham a certain G Brown didn't follow them.

    ///

    What’s stopping Cameron then? At least Brown made decisions. All I have seen Indecision Dave do is blame the previous government. As I predicted he would do months before the election. Germany has proper politicians. Maybe we should import some of them.


  • Comment number 17.

    This news confirms what I have been preaching for years. For a long time the UK depicted itself as the European pioneer of the new economic way. Industry didn't matter and subsidies were anathema.
    Trouble is, you can't be a pioneer if nobody follows. Our more sensible European neighbours exercised a healthy chauvinism while we let our industry and its jobs die for lack of attention. They supported manufacturing and surprise, surpise, the country with the longest economic breath, Germany, is reaping the rewards - and not for the first time.
    Not bad for a classic representative of "Old Europe".
    Can anyone recall Blair or Brown doing anything for industry? Brown revelled in being the Chancellor of an uncompetitive strong Pound while raising central taxation and allowing Council Tax to get completely out of control.

  • Comment number 18.

    Germany is far better placed than the UK because they combine a strong financial sector with strong manufacturing and a constant stream of new high-tech industries. Britain is hugely dependent on finance so when that sector collapses, we are terribly exposed.

    In Britain, whilst Labour were shouting about all the new off-shore windfarms that were being planned, the last wind turbine factory (on the Isle of Wight) closed.

    In Germany, the industries that have formed around the production of wind turbines now employ over 300,000 people. Government investment in training and tax breaks has created a whole new industry. They now export them to the world.

    It's just one small example but that's the difference between Germany and the UK. Germany plans for the future and they really focus on training and development.

  • Comment number 19.

    3. At 10:44am on 13 Aug 2010, Nok wrote:
    All Uk banks borrow from the bank of England at 0.5% then lend that money to us at between 4-5% interest (a goverment recommended mark-up of a factor of 10)
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'm afraid that simply isn't true. BoE rules require banks to have deposits with them, so the baknks only make 0.5%. Only a tiny fraction of banks funding comes from the BoE.

  • Comment number 20.

    1. At 10:37am on 13 Aug 2010, TheyCallMeTheWonderer wrote:
    Well isnt this interesting! If I remember rightly it was the Germans who mostly opposed Brown's policy of continued fiscal stimulus (posh talk for giving failed bankers more money)

    Further evidence if any were needed that the Government of Gordon Brown was financially inept.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "financially inept"?

    When I typed inept into Word and then ran it through the spell checker it came back with dishonest, corrupt and thieving....

    Perhaps its just a minor typo on your part. Try the spell checker!!!

  • Comment number 21.

    The German economy is BASED UPON EXPORTS, MANUFACTURING.

    They saw and RIGHTLY know/KNEW the IMPORTANCE of manufacturing, cars, steel heavy engineering etc etc.

    Germany had a few problems for some years SOLELY due to them having to integrate another 16+ million people into the country, and make MASSIVE MASSIVE investment to modernise East Germany and bring ALL SERVICES etc and social structures into line. They still have some way to go, but MOST is already complete.
    Due to thes huge changes and costs to infrastructure etc, Germany has been on the back leg, it is now more able to step forward and take HUGE advantage and HUGE steps/strides and gain a non-stoppable lead in European economy.

    HENCE, as Germany finalises much of its changes and investment, it is going to VERY VERY quickly turn into a MUCH MUCH bigger industrial/financial powerhouse of Europe.

    Britain has pretended it has been able to compete with germany, so much rubbish in UK media over past years on how we have been catching up etc with Germany. TOTAL RUBBISH.

    Britain would have trouble integrating a new population the size of wales, let alone the size of East Germany, we cannot even cope even without such MASSIVE infrastructure expenditure.

    While Britain has sploshed all its money on NHS and other BASIC social expenditure, Germany has CONENTRATED on MODERNISING its industrial abilitys, hence they CREATED WEALTH so they can ACTUALLY AFFORD more social spending, whereas in UK our FEEBLE politicians have just hung MORE & MORE costs around our necks and pretentiously relied upon PAPER wealth to maintain these increasing costs.

    NOW the PAPER WEALTH has withered away, people cannot use invisible paper wealth gained from higher property values to support our social structure.

    Another thing with Germany. Do you REALLY think that they would allow their ONLY wind turbine manufacturing plant to be mothballed, do you think that Germany would invest £100 billion over years in wind turbines and/or same amount in nuclear energy and just watch/let MOST of that money go abroad, or do you think they would have a bit more allegiance to their OWN nation.

    In Germany, they ACTUALLY have politicians who put their COUNTRY FIRST, BEFORE any pathetic political party ideology.

    In Germany, they ACTUALLY concentrate MORE on the MECHANICS of social SUSTAINABILITY, which is ENSURING that they CONTINUE to manufacture that which is ULTIMATELY important to the SURVIVAL and SUSTAINABILITY of their nation- LONG TERM.

    In UK, we are STILL ADDICTED to QUICK FIXES and WASTING so MUCH RESOURCES/WEALTH on PARTY POLITICAL changes, back and forth back and forth, at HUGE WASTEFUL COST.

    Basically, whats the POINT of ALL the deaths and sacrifice of those of HUGE courage who FOUGHT and GAVE their LIVES to maintain FREEDOM of this nation, when ever since, this country has continually had to SUFFER the effects of GREEDY PATHETIC ELITISTS whos ONLY allegiance of so many of them is to their OWN FAT FACES and their OWN FAT WALLETS and who have been supported by IDEALISTIC pretentious manipulative and VILE politicians who CANNOT JUDGE or distinguish REALITY and REALISM from their INEPT and ATTROCIOUS political IDEALISTIC incompetances and negligence.

    Cameron & Clegg are of the SAME ILK as has passed before. New fashionable words, used to deceive and manipulate.

    The ONE thing the UK NEEDS, is investment in CREATION of NEW WEALTH GENERATION.

    Yes cut cut whatever, but at LEAST USE a DECENT AMOUNT OF PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS to REINVEST IN INDUSTRY, and EVEN do such things or threaten to do things such as build our OWN NATIONAL wind turbine manufacturing plant so WE CAN MAXIMISE the BENEFITS of so much national expenditure, PAID FOR CONTINUOUSLY by CONSUMERS but of which so much money is just DIRECTLY channeled OUT of the UK ECONOMY.

    Imagine what 70% of £100billion of reported next ten years or so of UK proposed wind turbines could do if invested DIRECTLY in UK economy.

    Imagine what similar amounts being invested in UK nuclear powerstations could also do to UK economy over coming planeed new powerstations in coming years if this money was also of similar amount DIRECTLY spent in UK, benefitting UK nuclear manufacturing etc.

    Unfortunately, the VAST majority of this cash is being taken abroad, more greatly benefitting others.

    The banks are NOT FULLY or COMPETANTLY supporting UK INDUSTRY, FACT, hence the UK economy and especially manufacturing industry has NO-ONE to support it. The amounts this government is setting aside to improve our national wealth creation is PALTRY, ridiculous, pretentious and just DOWNRIGHT ATTROCIOUS and NEGLIGENT. Even our future, research and development are being MASSIVELY CUT, not just a bit, but MASSIVELY, hence the jobs of tomorrow are basically what is picked up as we stumble forward with NO REAL economic plan, except for appreciating our heritage and attracting tourists, as and when other nationals can afford our prices, or when weather, volcanoes, strikes and terrorists permit.

    TO PRETEND THAT OUR ECONOMY and NATION CAN GREATLY IMPROVE AND MEET THE NEEDS OF THE NATION, WITHOUT A COMPETANT ECONOMIC GROWTH/INVESTMENT PLAN IS BASICALLY JUST ONCE AGAIN RUBBISHING ALL WHICH WAS FOUGHT FOR IN WWI & WWII.

    The clock is being turned BACK.

    Even the VERY BASIC IDEALS of the NHS which was the MAIN reward to the nation for the nation and OF the nation after WWII, is just being VANDALISED and HANDED OVER TO PROFIT TAKERS.

    I personally believe that the GREATEST enemy this nation has, is those who so systematically undermine us via their pretentious politics.

    If I drop a fag butt on the pavement, if seen, I will be fined upto £60.00.

    If I was part responsible for smashing up the UK economy, wiping £billions off property prices, wiping £billions from pensions funds and savings, wiping out over 1 million jobs, destroying thousands of businesses, enslaving present generations and future generations/unborn children to a lifetime of debt repayment, forcing the young to work MORE years and receive LESS, force everyone in the UK to pay MORE for everything, destroy communitys and essential services which so many rely upon, hugely weaken and destroy the abilitys of our military and its capabilitys to ensure national security and security of sustainable resources,.....

    then the reality is, is that I would NOT even be made to pay £60.00 as compensation, or as a fine and I would be allowed to gently retire with a nice little protected income and big comfy house, with NO worries whatsoever as to ANY possibility of EVER suffering hardship or a lowering of my standard of life/living.

    ONE IMPORTANT POINT.

    The IMPORTANT question is NOT "Is Germany leading a European economic recovery?)

    The IMPORTANT QUESTION is WHY???????

    Maybe, something to do with political idealisms, reality/realism, planning, making RIGHT choices and decisions, and also of COMPETANCE, of which the UK political elite are SEVERELY LACKING in ALL AREAs and RESPECTS!!!

  • Comment number 22.

    Further prove of the mess Labour left us in. While the rest of Europe (and most of the world) is showing "real" signs of recovery, we're told even worst is to come for us. All thanks to Mr Prudent Brown & Co.

  • Comment number 23.

    The Germany economy has many advantages. And crucially it is one of just a few in the world that has more than one tier - i.e. Germany makes machines that make machines.
    For example, if you wanted to start a factory in the UK - and we are in such a poor way industrially that it would likely only be a "screwdriver factory" assembling parts made elsewhere - you would first have to import machine tools, packaging equipment or even printing presses and there is a strong chance they would come from Germany.

  • Comment number 24.

    Maybe they were lucky. Maybe their politicians didn't fail them by selling all their companies to foreigners or moving their jobs abroad ? Maybe they actually still have industry and wages above the minimal wage unlike the UK.

  • Comment number 25.

    3. At 10:44am on 13 Aug 2010, Nok wrote:
    Is Germany leading a European economic recovery?

    Nope, they're leading a German recovery.

    --------------------------------------------------
    This answer is so good I shan't waste time reading any more.

  • Comment number 26.

    well done germany.all this and a member of, what we are told,that no use euro

  • Comment number 27.

    19. At 11:59am on 13 Aug 2010, Wheelies wrote:
    3. At 10:44am on 13 Aug 2010, Nok wrote:
    All Uk banks borrow from the bank of England at 0.5% then lend that money to us at between 4-5% interest (a goverment recommended mark-up of a factor of 10)
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'm afraid that simply isn't true. BoE rules require banks to have deposits with them, so the baknks only make 0.5%. Only a tiny fraction of banks funding comes from the BoE.

    ---

    You'd better get on to the editorial teak at channel 4 news then, because a couple of nights ago they ran an in depth report on how the British public are still bailing out the banks, using exactly the scenario I outlined.

    Are you Fred Goodwin in disguise?

  • Comment number 28.

    One reason the German economy is so strong is that it ploughs all its money back into the country instead of giving it all away to all and sundry (ie Foreign Aid etc)like Britain.

    Britain has a problem with Germany because deep down Britain would like to be like Germany but due to successive weak, greedy, pathetic governments we're never going to come close to the way they run their country - and this government isn't about to change things for us either!

    Germany is for the Germans, France is for the French, Spain is for the Spanish and Britain.....well for everyone else!!

  • Comment number 29.

    "22. At 12:08pm on 13 Aug 2010, Toad In The Hole wrote:
    Further prove of the mess Labour left us in. While the rest of Europe (and most of the world) is showing "real" signs of recovery, we're told even worst is to come for us. All thanks to Mr Prudent Brown & Co."

    _____________________________________________________________________

    The UK economy grew by 1.1%, slightly ahead of the 1% in the eurozone, yes Labour did leave a mess but the even worse ahead for us in the short term is due to all the cuts the coalition are making now, plenty of economists have been saying the cuts should be delayed to allow growth, all serious economists acknowledge the spending cuts will hit growth, the big disagreement is on how severe an impact that will have and whether long term it's worth doing.

  • Comment number 30.

    I am certain Mr Brown and Mr Darling both said the UK was leading Europe? I am shocked does this mean two politicians lied to British public again!

    Well done Germany, especially given its hard times in the last 20 years.


    Shame Britains economy has been decimated in the last two years. T


  • Comment number 31.

    "10. At 11:09am on 13 Aug 2010, Andrew Morton wrote:
    I was listening to a commentator on the television this morning talking about this. One thing he said struck me; "The Germans are immensely proud of their manufacturing sector. The country is full of people who just love to make things".

    There was a time that the same could have been said of this country. That was before we came to value people who make money far more than those who make things."

    ---------------------------

    Yes, there was a time that the same could have been said of this country. We turned to making money because of the appalling products made in the 70's - the lack of design, the poor quality and the militant unions. Most of which was the product of nationalised industries.

  • Comment number 32.

    "21. At 12:06pm on 13 Aug 2010, MrWonderfulReality wrote:
    Yes cut cut whatever, but at LEAST USE a DECENT AMOUNT OF PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS to REINVEST IN INDUSTRY, and EVEN do such things or threaten to do things such as build our OWN NATIONAL wind turbine manufacturing plant so WE CAN MAXIMISE the BENEFITS of so much national expenditure, PAID FOR CONTINUOUSLY by CONSUMERS but of which so much money is just DIRECTLY channeled OUT of the UK ECONOMY.

    -------------------------
    For once I agree with you entirely. I have made this point myself in other HYS, that the government could easily set up a £1 billion wind turbine company in the UK, build our own infrastructure instead of having to buy it from Germany/Denmark, and then export around the world.

  • Comment number 33.

    22. At 12:08pm on 13 Aug 2010, Toad In The Hole wrote:
    Further prove of the mess Labour left us in. While the rest of Europe (and most of the world) is showing "real" signs of recovery, we're told even worst is to come for us. All thanks to Mr Prudent Brown & Co.

    ///

    Nah, I think it's safe to start blaming Cameron for this now.

  • Comment number 34.

    17. At 11:53am on 13 Aug 2010, EuroScepticInYourMidst wrote:
    "... we let our industry and its jobs die for lack of attention."
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    No. Our heavy industries were deliberately dismantled to prevent their unionised workforces having any say in the way the country is governed. Non-loss making coal mines, steelyards etc. were closed for doctrinaire reasons, the taxpayer having to pick up the bill for UB, social services, extra policing etc.

  • Comment number 35.

    No, they are enjoying their own economic recovery.
    They didn't follow the Brown/Darling economic and fiscal disaster formula, they went their own way. An apparently successful way.
    One which Blair laughed at when he said we didn't need a manufacturing sector, the banks would keep us afloat in a "new economy".
    There was a world recession, but the UK is in a special ZanuLiebore mess thanks to Blair, Brown and Darling.

  • Comment number 36.

    Well of course they may well be, but being as the UK is outside the Euro-zone we won't be a part of that recovery. Not completely, anyway.

  • Comment number 37.

    Ask yourself this;can you walk into Germany and get housing,benefits,and all the red carpet treatment that imigrants get here??
    Do you really think the benefit system has helped the U.K,bearing in mind before we as a country made many things than we do now,but without the immigration saturation we have been going through recently.
    We will for sure go the same way as Greece,as there seems to little pride in this country anymore,and the arrogance of the public sector beggers belief,(very similar to Greece).Germany has since the 50s has fought long and hard to keep their industries, there councils have had overall been on a tight leese,theyve kept there house in order whilst we squandered everything we have.It upsets me the way labour ruined this country.

  • Comment number 38.

    To 16. At 11:36am on 13 Aug 2010, Reverend Norton Neat wrote:

    “…What’s stopping Cameron then? At least Brown made decisions. All I have seen Indecision Dave do is blame the previous government. As I predicted he would do months before the election. Germany has proper politicians. Maybe we should import some of them.”

    Great suggestion! Lots of Germans would like to dispose some of our politicians across the channel.

  • Comment number 39.

    Just goes to show that when you have a financially prudent fiscal policy coupled with an ambitious private sector this is what you get. Are you listening and watching President Obama?

  • Comment number 40.

    Have to agree with post #24 @ 12:10pm on 13 Aug - 'Icebloo'?

    In my view this is reasonable summation of Germany's government and it's cultural focus? Germany makes, builds, exports and invests in Germany in science, medicine, education thus enabling it's industries, employment, health services and culture of - we innovate - why outsource what we do best?

    German companies are providing good shareholder returns to German shareholders and pensioners. Germany owns it's water, power suppliers, and transport too. Unlike the UK, Germany didn't sell off their crown jewels and essential basics. For a cohesive life and future autonomy and freedom as a Nation, Germany kept a commonsense, futuristic and incisive recipe to maintain their natural German resources for their own people.

    All European countries, including Cameron and Co need to learn from the German business model in an increasingly overcrowded planet?

  • Comment number 41.

    No. It just happens that they are the only viable state in the EU.

    Some of us could be viable if we left the EU (UK, Netherlands etc) but most of the other EU countries rely on handouts from the viable ones. France for example would be bankrupt and Spain already is!

  • Comment number 42.

    21. At 12:06pm on 13 Aug 2010, MrWonderfulReality wrote:

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Yes, indeed. A well thought out piece, but I would just add the the British malaise, with regard to investment and infrastructure, is quite deliberate. The establishment want it kept so, so that even our system of politics ensures the status quo. They allow us to vote, and stand back as we divide, and they rule. So, who are these people? They are to be found in the top echelons of the civil service & armed forces; the self styled elite, the upper class, holding on to power at all cost; they let the people think they have a democracy, when in reality it is anything but.

  • Comment number 43.

    Germany's improved performance is in large part a result of capital expenditure by the German Government. The country following a similar path to the Condemned Governments plan (Greece) saw a reduction of GDP by -1.5%

    Double dip recession here we come!

  • Comment number 44.

    La la la la la, strangers in the night, la la la la la, strangers in the night.

    Bit like UK & Germany economys and politicians.

  • Comment number 45.

    32. At 12:45pm on 13 Aug 2010, Khuli wrote:

    For once I agree with you entirely. I have made this point myself in other HYS, that the government could easily set up a £1 billion wind turbine company in the UK, build our own infrastructure instead of having to buy it from Germany/Denmark, and then export around the world.

    ---------------------------------

    Why? The wind farms are proven not to work and the countries who ran ahead with them regret it. Except that they can send it to the morons in the UK wanting to make wind farms.

    We could look for real power generating ideas and export that idea. That would be a money maker

  • Comment number 46.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 47.

    The biggest difference between the german and UK economy is the housing market.NOBODY in Germany believes that you can fund your future with rising house prices.Like many UK banker think as Andy Hornby as example.
    Please see his interview given more the 18 months back.
    (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7601461.stm%29
    Being convinced that when US house prices raise again everything will be OK again and also being convinced not have done anything FUNDAMENTAL wrong
    after have given out 120% mortgages for self cert customers.
    More then 18 months passed since and that are latest news from the US housing market.June 2010 was 2nd worst month on record since 1963
    (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/3/9ed91a0c-98bf-11df-a0b7-00144feab49a.html%29
    And also the UK will still have in 2014 have a funding gap of 300 billion
    (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8493653.stm%29
    In Germany there was never a nationwide house-price bubble and people focused on producing things to fund there future.And they did not started recently be doing so.Germany s balance of trade is positive ( in surplus ) every year since the mid 1950

  • Comment number 48.

    "
    29. At 12:31pm on 13 Aug 2010, Tony wrote:

    "22. At 12:08pm on 13 Aug 2010, Toad In The Hole wrote:
    Further prove of the mess Labour left us in. While the rest of Europe (and most of the world) is showing "real" signs of recovery, we're told even worst is to come for us. All thanks to Mr Prudent Brown & Co."

    _____________________________________________________________________

    The UK economy grew by 1.1%, slightly ahead of the 1% in the eurozone, yes Labour did leave a mess but the even worse ahead for us in the short term is due to all the cuts the coalition are making now, plenty of economists have been saying the cuts should be delayed to allow growth, all serious economists acknowledge the spending cuts will hit growth, the big disagreement is on how severe an impact that will have and whether long term it's worth doing.
    "

    Are these the same economists who, in 2007, predicted economic growth for 2009 would be around 2.8% for the uk?

    The country is in a real mess, cutting the deficit is number 1 priority. This will cause more unemployment, but waiting will only prolong the agony and at best, the country will stagnate.

    In my view the cuts to the public sector have not gone far enough, while at the same time, the rise in vat 20% is a disaster. Natural inflation will rise sharply over the winter and the vat increase will exaggerate this figure further. The bank of England will have no choice other than to either raise interest rates, which will be a disaster for all, or do nothing and "hope" inflection does not get out of hand.

    Cut the public sector borrowing requirements and promote investment in the private sector, like it or not this is the only way forward.


  • Comment number 49.

    What else do you exoect from the Germans? No sense of humour but ruhless efficiency.

    As opposed to the UK where it's hopeless ineptitude which you need a sense of humour to tolerate....

  • Comment number 50.

    People who work in manufacturing in this country work with pride. We are still with the best for quality at the top. Ranting and raving about Britain being a bunch of losers is going down well as ambassadors of this country - how to turn your trade away. Anyway if we got rid of all the "numb from the neck upward people" the country would be thriving.

    Germany did the right thing in getting out of the recession so did the UK, a growth of 1.1 is nothing to be sneezed at and beats many other EU countries.

  • Comment number 51.

    7. At 11:05am on 13 Aug 2010, Ossie wrote:
    Long live the Eu Eh!
    How
    why
    when
    Over crowding
    No jobs
    the same as britian but!!
    That early morning drinking is takings it's toll Ossie

  • Comment number 52.

    The Germans still have the VW-Gesetz (the VW law) which precludes the sale of a large German company to a foreign owner. So they have retained effective control of their industry. Plus they actually make stuff and buy their own products (generally it's pretty good so it's not too difficult). Plus they don't have 19th century throwback Trade Unions. All of which makes economic recovery easier.

    If you thought the VW law is in direct contravention of everything the EU stands for, you'd be right, but they like it and they're keeping it! Would that UK Govts were as assertive.

  • Comment number 53.

    38. At 1:01pm on 13 Aug 2010, theplaintruth wrote:
    To 16. At 11:36am on 13 Aug 2010, Reverend Norton Neat wrote:

    “…What’s stopping Cameron then? At least Brown made decisions. All I have seen Indecision Dave do is blame the previous government. As I predicted he would do months before the election. Germany has proper politicians. Maybe we should import some of them.”

    Great suggestion! Lots of Germans would like to dispose some of our politicians across the channel.


    ///

    Really? Like who for example?

  • Comment number 54.

    ForgeMaster denied loan(not subsidy) by Cameron's government, subsidies to banking sector continues.
    When countries start replacing and building nuclear power stations, the parts won't be made here. Thanx Dave.
    The Germans restructured their economy in the '80s, like us, but they retrained and re-skilled their workforce, they didn't close factories, dump the workers on the dole and bulldoze the industrial estates like our governments did.
    Germans pay cash for goods and services, they don't use credit cards.
    They still have mutual building societies, you save a 40% deposit before buying a house.Most people rent anyway.
    Their banks are strictly regulated, no sub-prime idiocy for them.
    The German economy is not isolated from the world but is better placed than we are.

  • Comment number 55.

    Germany have managed to do this with a coalition government. How crazy is that.

  • Comment number 56.

    Well done Germany - perhaps you could send some cash our way.

    Today in the UK we were told that the interest payments alone on our deficit will stand at £37Billion next year - more than the whole of our defence budget.

    Our NHS owes £65Billion to pay for building projects.

    ...we have no money left.

  • Comment number 57.

    I would suggest Germany are leading a GERMAN economy - They are not 'recovering' from anything! The rest of Europe and the UK are not recovering and the German economy is the only viable economy in Europe!

    Why - because they have a manufacturing base and MAKE things to sell around the world! They also have a robust domestic economic base - They actually manufacture most of the consumer products on sale in their shops! You can even purchase toys and plastic products MANUFACTURED in Germany on sale in GERMAN shops! They have all manner of REAL businesses OWNED by GERMANS producing stuff and services to SELL to GERMANS....Oh and they have a higher living standards, higher wages, fairer taxes, cheaper goods and services, lots of LOCAL jobs, a real sense of community and nice amenities, great facilities, good schools, good social housing, fairly respectable social welfare system, good public transport, fantastic road system, and the list goes on and on! Oh and they have a real sense of pride in their own towns, communities, cities, culture, heritage and the foods quite nice too!

    Mmmmmm do not think they really want to lead a European recovery...in fact they think most of the rest of Europe are economic parasites

  • Comment number 58.

    I don't know if Germany is leading a recovery, but sure as h*** the UK Government is leading us to a double dip recession.

  • Comment number 59.

    We scrapped what was left of our manufacturing in the last 10 yrs when it fell from 30% to 16% of our GDP..... so we will never lead the EU out of recession.

    This last gioverment may have finally achieved the dream amd reduced us to a minor European power.

  • Comment number 60.

    Nobody has mentioned that the Germans work hard too!

  • Comment number 61.

    Now where are all those doom mongers who so recently said the Euro was about to collapse?? Come on lets see you! Isn't it time we set our economy by real standards of productivity rather than parasitic hedge funds and property speculation?

  • Comment number 62.

    No, not really.

    MOST of the austerity measures in Europe do NOT kick in until next year, even in Germany.

    In UK, this will be the last splurge Xmas for quite some time. VAT increase after xmas and £billions of cuts and job losses.

    I think many UK retail businesses will use xmas to not stock up so much and to basically use it to get rid of much present and older stock, so that they can close down certain outlets as the expenditure cuts kick in during the year in 2011. Businesses know whats coming next year, so they are VERY inlikely to place large or increased orders when so many are going to lose jobs. I doubt if holiday firms will also be booking up quite so many resorts/hotels etc.

    The huge rise in part time and tempory jobs in UK is NOT a GOOD thing and the more there are, the more unsustainable such work practices become, because increasing numbers will require tax credits and other benefits which are already at unsustainable levels, hence being politically happy and smiley about it is just pathetic.

    Its all very well having less % unemployed than Germany, but the difference is that in Germany more jobs are FULL TIME and provide MUCH MUCH more wealth creation and LESS preasure on tax subsidies.

    I havent seen a SINGLE new/realistic initiative for wealth creation/job planning, all we are getting is yet MORE political biased party idealism policys which change the shape of our nation but provide NO IMPROVEMENTS.

    Such a good idea for "free" schools, as example whereby groups can get together and waste £millions on converting a trashed ex Victorian hospital building into a high maintenance school, just to create a political partys prefered idealism.

    Why not just also waste ALL the offices and skills and equipment in the NHS and set up new administration at doctors practices who dont have the room, equipment, facilitys, skills, employees to carry out that which they are being forced to carry out.

    Why not also just abandon the navy and utilise the british Olympic boating fraternity who could just basically protect our shores via rushing out in rowing boats and defeating an enemy with hearts and minds via giving out cookies.
    Such a policy is NO less ridiculous than many of the MAJOR policys about to be inflicted upon the UK.

    The thing with Torys/Conservatism, is that as a nation we have already been there, its taken us over 100 years to leave much of its ideals behind, yet here we go again, back to the future.

    Labours just as bad.

    The worst thing about modern politics is the sheer pretence.

    The "IN THING" is to provide freedom and choice.

    These words have basically been totally rubbished by both Labour & Torys, and now also Lib Dems.

    For instance, free choice in choosing where your child goes to school.

    EG A great school has an intake of 300 pupils, 700 apply for those places, hence for more than 50%, choice and freedom of choice is meaningless/irrelevent, it just an unachievable deceptive CON. The same with choice of hospitals, for the GREAT majority, closest distance/location is THE MAIN REASON for their CHOICE.

    It should be that best practice in the better schools should be utilised for the poorer schools (likewise for hospitals, or recycling etc). Yet when we do have a headteacher at a school in london who has turned his FAILING school around (saving £millions of other social expense) and also helping with others, he gets attacked for being paid too much.

    It just doesnt make sense.

    It all very well putting down those in quangos etc and who run hospitals who are basically worthless and provide no overall improvements or benefits, but WHY WHY WHY just TRASH those who ACTUALLY DO PROVIDE the NECESSARY improvements and BENEFITS we have so MUCH TROUBLE of ACHIEVING.

    Much of this is also to do with attrocious media, who seek to glamourise the worst in life and undermine and marginalise/trivialise the good.

    Maybe we should do as a nation as politicians so often do, just change the name of a department, just change the label, maybe instead of being called Britain, we should re-name ourselves "The Malvinas Isles".

  • Comment number 63.

    What recovery.The Germans have been buying worthless toxic Greek debt at 2 billion a day.They will shortly have to add their worthless banks to their deficit bringing them up to the level of the rest of us.Where is this recovery going to come from when most of the developed world is sinking in unpayable deficit and debt.This is a depression of the first magnitude which will shortly be made worse by defaults in Greece and Spain,Eur750 bailout is slowly draining away this will ultimately break the Euro and hopefully the EEC which has virtually bankrupted this once great nation and filled it with immigrants which we can,t afford and have no jobs for.Deflation will lead to Hyperinflation as Politicians become more desperate to print money to stimulate a hopeless situation.The worse is yet to come but it has to happen the defaults will occur.Recovery,your having a laugh,a public sector bloated shedding jobs and a private sector which pays peanuts and gets smaller every day.Start reporting the truth which is that unless something is properly done this country will be like Germany in the 20,s.The Banks should have failed because they are and were insolvent.Not one Regulator,Banker or Politician in jail for gross "dereliction of duty" in the crime of the century,what an epitaph for pure greed and nepotism.

  • Comment number 64.

    Germany has always been in the forefront in times of economic recovery and that speaks volumes of German efficiency. If this growth can be sustained, the country is well on the road to economic recovery and the economic downturn of 2008-2009 would be memories of the past. Other countries in the Eurozone could take heart and follow German economic prescriptions closely.

  • Comment number 65.

    21. At 12:06pm on 13 Aug 2010, MrWonderfulReality.

    Another fine observational piece Mr WonderfulReality.....I do enjoy reading your comments!

    Well said.....it makes me quite angry - our nation has been destroyed by a few rather nasty little gangs of thugs....those parasitic wealthy elites have stuffed this country and stashed the proceeds in off-shore bank accounts! Left us all broke, the country bankrupt and nothing left.....Horrible reality.... :-(

  • Comment number 66.

    24. At 12:10pm on 13 Aug 2010, Icebloo wrote:

    Maybe they were lucky. Maybe their politicians didn't fail them by selling all their companies to foreigners or moving their jobs abroad ? Maybe they actually still have industry and wages above the minimal wage unlike the UK


    Germany do not have a minimum wage rate.

  • Comment number 67.

    It is basically recovery of German economy. Germany has a different,more disciplined approach to manage the economy. The institution of co-determination at firm level facilitates better relations between management and employees and is conducive to better utilisation of resources. In any case, Germans are known for hard work and high quality workmanship. Every society has evolved its institutions,formal as well as informal, through its unique historical experiences , which both facilitate and constrain policy action. But it not easy to replicate them elsewhere without necessary adjustments.The different recovery rates enjoyed by different members of EU clearly indicate differences in their informal institutions,given harmonisation of formal institutions.The informal institutions have significant influence on the efficacy of formal institutions,hence differences in economic performance.

  • Comment number 68.

    "45. At 1:12pm on 13 Aug 2010, in_the_uk wrote:
    32. At 12:45pm on 13 Aug 2010, Khuli wrote:

    For once I agree with you entirely. I have made this point myself in other HYS, that the government could easily set up a £1 billion wind turbine company in the UK, build our own infrastructure instead of having to buy it from Germany/Denmark, and then export around the world.

    ---------------------------------

    Why? The wind farms are proven not to work and the countries who ran ahead with them regret it. Except that they can send it to the morons in the UK wanting to make wind farms.

    We could look for real power generating ideas and export that idea. That would be a money maker

    -----------------------

    Wind farms are not proven to work? Are you suggesting they don't generate electricity and nobody knew?

    Fusion aside, what ideas do you have?

  • Comment number 69.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 70.

    To all the heroes hidden in the world, to those held prisoner, not by their evasions of the real, but by their virtues and their desperate courage - I determine - In spirit we are all humanity and the time is present to check on your virtues, and on the nature of the enemies of humanity you’re serving. Our enemies hold us by means of our endurance, our generosity, our innocence, our love. Endurance that carries their burdens – generosity that respond to fake cries of their despair – innocence that is unable to conceive their evil and gives them the benefit of every doubt, refusing to condemn them without understanding and incapable of understanding such motives as theirs – the love, our love of life, which makes us falsely believe that they are people like us and love life too. But our world today is the world they wanted to create. Freedom to live in a rational world is the object of their distain! That which they have destroyed. Leave them to their worship of the Zero. We must leave them to themselves, isolate them - quarantine them - not exhaust our love of life, the greatness of humanity on achieving the triumph of their evil design.

    It is the best within all, these appeals are addressed. Do not continue sacrificing yourself and this world to those who are its worse. In the name of the very values which keep humanity alive, do not let the purest vision of humanity be distorted by those with ugly hearts, cowardly character, those mindless preachers of the Doctrine of Sacrifice, who would deny reality, create an unreal world where the rational mind has no place, where the irrational triumphs over knowledge and truth.

    We deny their unreality, where humanity is no longer in possession of rational objective truth and knowledge, where we are forced into distortions, no longer able to acknowledge our proper state, upright posture, intransigent mind and steps that travel unlimited roads. We will never let these fakes extinguish our fire, our spark, our passion for life, in their hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all, because we know we can succeed in the achievements of living and we reject that doctrine of the avoidance of death. We will never allow a warped sense of reality let our souls perish in the frustrations of an irrational brutish dark age, were concords no longer fly. We have rejected the fake saints and saviours, and fake devils and demons of their design. We refuse to allow would be ‘destroyers’ to create willing ‘guilty victims’ to persecute in socially engineered misery and despair.

    Listen, the world we desire is possible. Check the premises, check the roads ahead and be sure of the nature of the battle. For that battle is upon US now. The world we desire does exist, it is real and possible – it’s our world, our country, our community, our people – not theirs - for it is we who are humanity. But to succeed requires a kind of complete devotion, a total rejection of the fake. An acceptance that humanity is not a sacrificial offering who exists for the ‘pleasures’ of strangers, that concedes control of minds to others, to any gang of brutish thugs or deity or any old irrational pronouncement of faith in the mysticism of scoundrels.

    It is a rational a-priori to fight for the value of your self, for your self esteem, for the virtue of your pride; to fight for your very essence, for the sovereignty of your rational mind. Stand and fight with the radiant certainty and the absolute rectitude of knowing that yours is the morality of the rational, the morality of life and the battle we fight is for any achievement, any value, any goodness, any joy that has ever existed.

    These represent the first and the last steps in order to achieve any real and meaningful change to our society. It needs no act of faith in a fake political establishment or economic recovery, it requires no belief in mystic political pronouncements, no ideology, no desire to achieve the ‘good’ for others, no politicians, no use of force by the incompetent, morally bankrupt or corrupt of institutions – it only requires the rational mind and willingness to pronounce this truth;

    I swear – by my life and my love of it – that I will never live for the sake of another, nor ask another person to live for my sake! JG.

  • Comment number 71.

    I actually suspect the figure is an error as most statistics are usually wrong. If you think about it it doesn't look right as the German economy depends on exports, and one has to question who they are exporting to given that the rest of Europe is in dire straits and are cutting back on expenditure.

  • Comment number 72.

    The fact is Germany is still able to compete against countries in Asia, but most of Europe is not.

  • Comment number 73.

    ClaudeBalls wrote
    "Plus they don't have 19th century throwback Trade Unions."

    I wasn't aware that the Trade Unions in the private sector (especially the industrial and manufacturing parts)were particularly radical at the moment. Supine is the word that springs to mind to describe them.

    Besides Germany has Trade Unions but they are "fitted in" to the management system in such a way that their members feel that they are represented in any decisions being made. Unlike the "hire and fire", adversarial system we have in the UK.

    Laughable really because it was British trade unionists who were responsible for the birth of the German system after the last world war.

  • Comment number 74.

    France is also showing growth as here there is still a manufacturing base. The UK relies totally on banking and good old Gordon let them loose with no controls...
    Say no more!

  • Comment number 75.

    Yes Germany is and it will drag the rest of the union with it my beleif Britain will suffer a douuble dip recession and our bankers those who lend us money will demand we join the security of the euro and the only benefit we will get is cheaper interest rates

  • Comment number 76.

    Is Germany leading a European economic recovery?
    It would appear so. I'm proud to say that I was one of the very few that placed great confidence in the Eurozone and the Euro, in spite of some sickly little PIIGS.
    When I say that Germany appears to be leading a European comback, I imply that the economy is more global than country-specific, and the country that I'm worried about is not a sick little PIIG. It's a huge one! i.e. The United States of America. If the US falters, somewhat like the Titanic, she will take down economies with her?
    (I'll bet, if truth be known, the United States would rather be in the position of Greece or Portugal.)
    So I think we need to know the honest, true figures for the United States of America. I think Brussels and all other financial wizards attached to various European countries need to get their economic heads together and set up a plan of action.
    For what?
    The American Central Bank is distressed.
    The Fed said as recently as last Tuesday that it will spend a small amount of money (about $10Bbillion a month!). Doing what?
    Buying the American debt! Buying the American debt? Buying its own debt?
    It is hoped that this move will drive interest rates on mortgages and corporate borrowing at least a little lower and help the economy grow faster. (How low can you below zero?)
    The Fed admits that the pace of the American recovery "has slowed in recent months." The decision to buy its own debt, using the proceeds from Fed investments in mortgage bonds, is a shift.
    Economists say:
    Buying $10B of government debt in a $14 trillion economy with trillion daillar debt is a relatively small move, and they said they did not expect it to have a dramatic impact. (Ah, so why is the US doing it? Are there economists making sense? )
    I think Germany's recovery is a good sign, but be careful. The US is on the brink, and there is no place for her to go except down, down, down...and you can bet she will be grabbing at any floating device near-at-hand.

  • Comment number 77.

    To 53. At 1:44pm on 13 Aug 2010, Reverend Norton Neat wrote:
    ...Maybe we should import some of them.”

    Great suggestion! Lots of Germans would like to dispose some of our politicians across the channel.
    ///

    Really? Like who for example?“

    Usually we like to dispose politicians in Brussels. Not cheap, but it would hurt more if they do stupid things at home. But UK will be fine as well :)
    Some examples?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RrEQ8Ovw-Q&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMUxRA4B9GE

  • Comment number 78.

    4. At 10:48am on 13 Aug 2010, pzero wrote:
    This is really easily explained - arent the Germans the only people in Europe, except Poland, who actually make anything these days?
    --------------------------------------------------
    Absolutely. The myth of riches beyond imagination through being a 'World Player' (ugh!) in financial services is being progressively destroyed. Incidentally, a lot of components used by the German car industry are made in other EU countries - sadly not too many here because we sold our automotive industry down the river to the Japanese in the 1980s, and are continuing to do so with what little's left.
    The other sensible thing the Germans are doing is to try to get people into work in order to get more money into pensions before that particular egg hits the fan.
    A revealing interview on 'Today' this morning produced a very articulate German speaking on these subjects. When asked why Germany had been so inconsiderate as to decline to go the US/UK way of dealing with the recent crises he replied in polite terms which added up to - 'we're not that stupid'

  • Comment number 79.

    Just imagine if our cousins Germans had won the war;we would be driving Mercedes,Audis and Volkswagens .
    There would be no religions,no corrupt politicians and everybody would have to work;No Fast Food Joints and Super Rich Fat Greedy Cats. Europe would rule the world instead of the Usa and China.
    Just Imagine

  • Comment number 80.

    YES THE GERMAN UNIONS DO TEND TO HAVE A POLITICAL BENT BUT THEIR MEMBERS COME FIRST.THE LEADERS OF THE UNIONS HAVE NOT ONLY THAT BUT ALSO THE COMPANIES AND COUNTRIES WELFARE AT HEART.ADD THAT TO A WELL EDUCATED WORKFORCE AND A FORWARD SEEKING BUSINESS SECTOR.THAT IS PREPARED TO INVEST IN THE WORKFORCE AND NOT TALK ABOUT IT LIKE WE DO.THEIR POLITITIANS PUT THE COUNTRY AND PEOPLE FIRST.UNTIL WE SOUGHT OUT THE KNUCKLE DRAGGING POLITICALY MOTIVATED UNION DINOSAURS.PLUS THE MILL OWNING KEEP THE SERFS IN THEIR PLACE.WE ARE ONLY INTERESTED IN A QUICK BUCK PRODUCT.WHICH GAVE US THE CITY BANKSTERS.THEN GET RID OF THIS EVERYBODY MUST GO TO UNIVERSITY GOD FORBID THEY WOULD GET THIER HANDS DIRTY.WHICH FOR YEARS NOW HAS BEEN PUMPED INTO OUR CHILDRENS HEADS.FINALY GET SOME POLITITIANS IN THIS COUNTRY THAT HAVE HAD SOME PROPER JOB WORK EXPERIENCE.WE WILL BE LIONS LED BY DONKIES.

  • Comment number 81.

    "
    33. At 12:50pm on 13 Aug 2010, Reverend Norton Neat wrote:

    22. At 12:08pm on 13 Aug 2010, Toad In The Hole wrote:
    Further prove of the mess Labour left us in. While the rest of Europe (and most of the world) is showing "real" signs of recovery, we're told even worst is to come for us. All thanks to Mr Prudent Brown & Co.

    ///

    Nah, I think it's safe to start blaming Cameron for this now.
    "

    lol! What about blaming Ted Heath? ;-)

  • Comment number 82.

    Germany is also liberated from a British style class system that keeps potentially productive people down. Britian is a Thatcherite neo-fascist mess, dominated by corrupt finance capitalism.

    Whether Germany can keep this up depends but at least she is liberated from the utter naked evil of the rightwing media we have in this country.

    On saying that Germany was flattened during the War and at least had a chance to rebuild from start unlike victorian-80s Britain. Germany wants to go forward unlike bestial coalition Britain that wants to take us backwards....so the Rich can gain more.

    We in Britain ARE the fallen Nation of Europe. Its time we had a North British Federation comprising of the Midlands, North England, Wales, N. Ireland and Scotland to liberate us from the disease of rightwing tory South with all the corruption and elitism and greed that London ( a modern day Babylon) stands for. Get all the moderate decent people up North and keep the swineheard down south, decent non-coalition southerns should migrate North.

    Then we could stand up the the Thuggery of the City of London and Finanace Capitalism. Then we would be liberated from Far rightwing victorian Coalition destructivenss.

  • Comment number 83.

    Well of course they are, our economy was crippled by two world wars rescueing Europe from German domination with no thanks and now they are winning WW3 economically.

  • Comment number 84.

    AM/MMW1949

    Yeah they do make things,THAT MAKE MONEY FOR THE GERMAN ECONMY.

    If we all stopped buying German cars forinstance, they would be in trouble.

    They also play J Bond's 'The Spy Who Loved Me' lyrics before starting work each day.
    I think.

  • Comment number 85.

    Germany's conservative finance policy drives a strong economy. Barack Obama maintains the Bush Admin's speculation angle that bankrupted America. Banking and investing is meant to be a conservative point of view. Obama should terminate every Bush appointee remaining in the executive branch. They are failed and impotent figures of the past.

  • Comment number 86.

    ''come come hear my story''.

    Do BBC HYS moderators have accounts on HYS and use them to post against HYS contributors ??

    and no I am not in Germany.
    funny question...

  • Comment number 87.

    61. At 1:58pm on 13 Aug 2010, Robin wrote:

    Now where are all those doom mongers who so recently said the Euro was about to collapse?? Come on lets see you! Isn't it time we set our economy by real standards of productivity rather than parasitic hedge funds and property speculation?

    -------------------------

    Probably smiling and saying I told you so. Germany would have been even better off if not for the EU. With the weaker economies hammering the euro and the populations not being too impressed it is no wonder people are sceptical of the euro. Germany may be doing well but how is greece?

    I dont like the euro. But I hope the populations are ok regardless

  • Comment number 88.

    Good posting No-21 MrWonderfulReality
    Also I may add : to be a manager in the UK the only quality required is to be a BULLY .

  • Comment number 89.

    HAVING RETIRED AFTER MOST OF MY WORKING LIFE WORKING FOR A GERMAN COMPANY.THE ONE WORD THAT PUTS GERMANY IN THE POSITION THEY ARE IN VIZ A VIZ GB.IS THAT THEIR POLITICAL SYSTEM IS FOR THE GOOD OF GERMANY AND ITS PEOPLE.THE GB SYSTEM IS FOR THE GOOD OF THE POLITITAINS.THEIR BUSINESSMEN AND UNION LEADERS WORK FOR THE GOOD OF THE COUNTRY.THIS HAS LED TO A HIGHLY EDUCATED PRODUCTIVE AND PROUD NATION.THEIR ENGINEERS ARE HELD IN HIGH REGARD ALONG WITH SCIENTISTS AND OTHER PEOPLE IN THE PRODUCTION SECTOR.PRIDE IN THE QUALITY AND RELIABILITY OF THEIR PRODUCTS IS PARAMOUNT.UNTIL OUR POLITITCAL SYSTEM EMBRACES ACROSS THE BOARD VIEWS.UNIONS ACT IN THEIR MEMBERS INTERESTS NOT THE LABOUR PARTIES.ALL OF US JUST TREAT THE MEDIA FOR WHAT IT IS A BRANCH OF ENTERTAINMENT.ESPECIALY THE SO CALLED 24 HOUR NEWS AND STOP CELEBRATING IGNORANCE AND THE LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR.WE WILL NEVER LEARN ANYTHING.

  • Comment number 90.

    Does Germany have a benefits system like the UK? I bet not, no country can excel when it's being dragged down by payments being made for no work being done. Not only are we paying for our own deadbeats, we're paying for most of Europes as well.

  • Comment number 91.

    68. At 2:12pm on 13 Aug 2010, Khuli wrote:

    Wind farms are not proven to work? Are you suggesting they don't generate electricity and nobody knew?

    Fusion aside, what ideas do you have?

    --------------------------

    They produce extremely little energy and the cost is insanely high. This is a fact the green people need to accept. They also produce more co2 in their lifetime than we do now (for power generation) and are unreliable, so require a fossil fuel backup (added cost).

    My idea is an amazing one which worked since the beginning of humans- only use an idea that works. If we dont have one now, find a solution. Jumping onto an idea which cant work is irrelivent and stupid.

    Geothermal and wave power have been stated as pretty reliable. We dont have the land for solar. Nuclear is the only (cleanest) option available at the moment but that is only as long as we have the resources

  • Comment number 92.

    The $700 billion U.S. bailout program launched in response to the global economic meltdown wound up in big banks in France, Germany and other nations. :D http://bit.ly/bpcXIl

  • Comment number 93.

    1. At 10:37am on 13 Aug 2010, TheyCallMeTheWonderer wrote:
    Well isnt this interesting! If I remember rightly it was the Germans who mostly opposed Brown's policy of continued fiscal stimulus (posh talk for giving failed bankers more money)

    =====================

    You have only remembered the bits you want to.
    You have also confused bank bailouts with economic stimulus - the two are different. The Germans bailed out their own banks (check Hypo Real Estate which makes Northern Rock, RBS and HBOS look almost paragons of financial virtue by comparison) as the UK has with its.

    The Germans argued against stimulus initially but finally agreed to participate in the wider European stimulus package with a very full range of measures, tax cuts, infrastructure investment, scrappage schemes for cars, one-off benefit payments to support consumer spending totalling 45-50 billion euro.

    This seems to have worked (and worked very well in Germany because they stimulated parts of the economy that would support domestic businesses and stimulate home demand rather than the UK stimulus which supported imports predominantly (e.g.cars and VAT on mostly imported goods and was thus largely wasted)with minor impact on underlying business.

    So perhaps Browns pushing of the idea was not so inept after all.

    Just about the only European country not to go with a stimulus package and follow the Conservative position of the time had the longest and deepest recession of all, Ireland in case you missed it - so much so they have just announced ........... a large stimulus package for the economy to try to get it moving again.

  • Comment number 94.

    4. At 10:48am on 13 Aug 2010, pzero wrote:
    This is really easily explained - arent the Germans the only people in Europe, except Poland, who actually make anything these days?

    Here Here - I was going to make a similar comment. Germany - and indeed most of Continental Europe - has a sound manufacturing base. Almost all British engineering and manufacturing was either sold off or allowed to rot and be asset-stripped by the Chinese (I'm thinking specifically of Rover) Germany's economic recovery will have no effect on us whatsoever, and is certainly not an indicator that we will recover. In times of hardship, people manage without financial products, which is all we seem to have left.

  • Comment number 95.

    ONCE UPON A TIME IN GB A COMPANY NEEDED A FEW MILLION POUNDS TO EXPAND A PRODUCT.THE NEW GOVERNMENT WOULD NOT SANCTION IT ALTHOUGH IT WOULD MAKE BILLIONS IN YEARS TO COME.AT THE SAME TIME THEY STOOD BY AND LET THE FOURTH OF THE SIX POWER COMPANY FALL INTO FOREIGN HANDS.THE OTHER BUNCH OF USELESS POLITIANS WHO LIKE THIS LOT HAVE NEVER HAD A PROPER JOB.STOOD BY AND LET MAJOR COMPANIES ONE AFTER THE OTHER GO THE SAME WAY.ONE OF OUR MAJOR COMPANIES WAS BROUGHT WITH TAX PAYERS MONEY.BECAUSE WE PROPPED UP THE BANK WITH OUR TAXES.THE RESULT WILL BE WHILST THE GB WORKERS TOIL ON THE PROFITS WILL BE SHIPPED ABROARD.OUR CAPACITY TO MANUFACTURE OR POWER OUR INDUSTRIES WILL BE IN THE HANDS OF OTHERS.THIS WOULD NEVER HAPPEN IN GERMANY.

  • Comment number 96.

    79. At 2:41pm on 13 Aug 2010, Doozie wrote:
    Just imagine if our cousins Germans had won the war;we would be driving Mercedes,Audis and Volkswagens .
    There would be no religions,no corrupt politicians and everybody would have to work;No Fast Food Joints and Super Rich Fat Greedy Cats. Europe would rule the world instead of the Usa and China.
    Just Imagine.

    ----

    Hmm I'm sure that there must be a downside to this utopian view of an alternate world where the Nazi's won World War 2?

    Perhaps the clue is the word 'Nazi'?

  • Comment number 97.

    66. At 2:10pm on 13 Aug 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    24. At 12:10pm on 13 Aug 2010, Icebloo wrote:

    Maybe they were lucky. Maybe their politicians didn't fail them by selling all their companies to foreigners or moving their jobs abroad ? Maybe they actually still have industry and wages above the minimal wage unlike the UK

    Germany do not have a minimum wage rate.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    That's interesting. Wasn't the minmum wage a European Parliament Directive? Surely you're not suggesting that other European states aren't implementing EU dictat...

  • Comment number 98.

    Have you not heard of progress?
    True, wind turbines may not be as efficient as we'd like, but as they evolve, so their effectiveness will be improved.
    With regard to solar - every building has the capability of siting enough solar panels to generate it's own electicity. Trouble is - who is going to sanction and encourage everyoe to be self-sufficient in this way? No electricity bills? What will the Russians and the shareholders live on?

  • Comment number 99.

    79. At 2:41pm on 13 Aug 2010, Doozie wrote:
    Just imagine if our cousins Germans had won the war;we would be driving Mercedes,Audis and Volkswagens .
    There would be no religions,no corrupt politicians and everybody would have to work;No Fast Food Joints and Super Rich Fat Greedy Cats. Europe would rule the world instead of the Usa and China.
    Just Imagine

    -----------------------------

    They would also have gotten rid of you. This would be the only good thing that they would have done. What about gassing everyone that did not follow their orders or fall into their undesirables and untermench bracket? I already drive a volkswagen.

  • Comment number 100.

    Bravo.
    Germany = 1
    UK = 0
    The UK never really moved forward & away from Victorian methologies; the Germans had the chance to start with a clean slate, and I take my hat off to them. They took on the East/West unification and by large it is a success, allerdings UK Anglo-Saxon management philosophy doesn't perform as well when rubbed against the diverse European and FE brains.
    The UK has alot of talented people quite capable of doing something useful but there are no incentives, other than skyving dosh from the state. Everyone in the UK, esp. local government and central government has GOT to seriously slash costs, make cost of living affordable to the masses without relying on benefits, reforming all taxation and not penalising progress. Without this, nothing will improve. A proper stance on immigration, language tests and ability is required in an already full island. One will find some of these prerequisites in other countries.

 

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