Wednesday, 6 May 2020

We have argued often enough on these pages that the German ruling class has never quite relinquished the insane fantasies of the Third Reich. It is too late now perhaps to do what the Allies should have done from this day, May 6, but in 1945! They should have followed the French and Italian partisans: rounded up all members of the Nazi German bourgeoisie, line them up against a wall, and blast every living cell out of their lousy carcasses until not one drop of blood was left in them. There is still time for us to do it, folks! The German bourgeoisie quite demonstrably still retains memories of past Nazi glory and the Lebensraum Traum (living-space dream) of ruling over the rest of Europe. Except that in the past they did it with armoured tanks and the Luftwaffe, the Wehrmacht, the SS, then the Gestapo. Now they wish to do it through monetary policy. 

As everyone ought to know by now, Germany was the major beneficiary of the establishment of the Euro. The German-Nazi ruling elites evidently knew that by fixing exchange rates with their main European (and world) trading partners, they would be able to crush them in industrial competition by fixing the Deutschemark at a level far inferior to its competitive productive advantage. Also, they would cripple the other EU economies by removing their major defence against German industry - devaluation of their currencies, the franc and the lira. And they would stop importing inflation from these countries through the devaluations - enabling them, the German industrial elites, to keep German wages well below where they should be. 

It is time for us Europeans to call time on this and put a gun to these Nazi bastards' heads once and for all - even with the help of the US who anytime now will impose tariffs on German cars and drill a hole through the heart of German industry. These detestable Nazi leftovers must learn that either they choose to unite Europe, or else we will do what the Franco-Italian partisans should have done from May 6, 1945: shoot without cease the industrial leaders of Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, BMW, Porsche, BASF, Thyssen-Krupp, Siemens, Bayer - again, to repeat, until NO CELL IN THEIR VILE FILTHY BODIES IS LEFT ALIVE!


A misguided court judgment in Germany 
The ECB’s asset purchases are vital to the stability of the eurozone 
 By placing a disproportionate burden on the European Central Bank to act as saviour of the eurozone, the region’s political leaders are shirking their responsibilities 

On March 19 Christine Lagarde, the European Central Bank president, stated: “There are no limits to our commitment to the euro. We are determined to use the full potential of our tools, within our mandate.” Her unequivocal language was necessary to quash any doubts in financial markets that the ECB would pull out all the stops during the coronavirus pandemic to safeguard the eurozone’s future. In the light of Tuesday’s unhelpful ruling from Germany’s constitutional court on the central bank’s pre-pandemic asset purchases, it is more vital than ever that the ECB, supported by all 19 eurozone governments, should defend the scope for emergency action set out by Ms Lagarde. From its 2009 judgment on the EU’s Lisbon treaty to its latest ruling on the ECB’s unconventional monetary policy measures, the German court has surpassed all its eurozone peers in claiming the right to interpret European law as it sees fit.

In Tuesday’s ruling, the judges in Karlsruhe went so far as to assert that the European Court of Justice, the EU’s highest court, had made such gross mistakes in a 2018 judgment on the ECB’s asset purchases that the German court does not regard itself as bound by the ECJ’s decision. Well might other countries ask what would be left of the EU’s prized legal order, if each national high court were to arrogate to itself such extensive powers to dispute ECJ judgments. The German court’s ruling does not apply to the ECB’s €750bn pandemic emergency purchase programme (PEPP), which started on March 26 and may continue beyond this year, should the central bank determine that the eurozone’s financial and economic health requires it. However, by ruling that the ECB’s earlier public sector purchase programme (PSPP) partly violates the German constitution, the court has made it all but inevitable that German critics of the ECB will challenge bond purchases made under the new pandemic initiative.

Successful challenges would risk imposing serious constraints on the efforts of the ECB and eurozone governments to manage the recovery phase of the crisis. Tuesday’s ruling rests on shaky ground in its argument that the ECB has taken insufficient account of the economic effects of its PSPP measures. The court mentions “considerable losses for private savings” and the propping up of “unviable companies” as two such effects, attributable to the ECB’s decision to drive down interest rates to all-time lows. In fact, the ECB’s governing council has gone to great lengths to assess the overall impact of its measures. Time and again ECB policymakers, including Isabel Schnabel, a German appointed in December to the bank’s executive board, have pointed out that the extraordinary actions preserve price stability and have created financing conditions favourable to investment and job creation. Nonetheless, the court ruling shines a light on one of the eurozone’s chief vulnerabilities as it has battled crisis after crisis over the past decade — namely that the ECB has proved itself to be the only EU institution able to act swiftly and resolutely to protect Europe’s currency union.

National governments, divided among themselves and beset by domestic political strife, have shied away from collective fiscal action on the scale needed to buttress the ECB in tackling the eurozone’s troubles. By placing a disproportionate burden on the central bank to act as saviour of the eurozone, the region’s political leaders are shirking their responsibilities. In doing so, they are turning the ECB into a hostage to misguided but relentless legal pressure from Germany, and potentially elsewhere.

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