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As the Eurozone crisis continues to intensify, the gap between the bloc’s rich countries and troubled member states is accelerating. CCTV correspondent Jack Barton says that the success of countries like Germany, has as much to do with what other countries are doing wrong, as with what Germany has done right.
The term two-track Europe used to refer to countries that adopted the Euro and those who chose to stay out. But these days it usually refers to the Eurozone itself. Despite still heavy debt loads, countries like Germany, Belgium and Austria continue to grow and prosper.
While others like Spain, Ireland and Portugal have been caught in a downward spiral of recession. Greece has been in deep recession now for five years. Some countries have done a better job of managing their economies, but they’re also benefitting from market panic surrounding their troubled fellow member states. And Germany, which grew by 0.5 percent in the first quarter, remains the chief beneficiary.
Hand Martens, Director of Eauropean Policy Center, said, "The financial markets that were not so many years ago willing to invest in whatever subprime loans and stuff have become really nervous about anything so they are trying to find a safe haven and Germany is defined as the safe haven”.
Austria is another Euro safe haven and remains one of the 12 richest countries in the world.
"Like German, Austria is benefiting not only from an influx of money formerly invested in countries like Greece but also from a falling Euro which makes its exports outside the Eurozone far more competitive than they were a few years ago".
But without a stable Eurozone it’s a prosperity that can’t last. Germany is calling for a more federal Europe that begins to act more like a country than a trading block. A call being echoed by politicians like Sir Graham Watson. He’s a Member of the European Parliament representing the normally Euro skeptic Britain.
Sir Graham Watson, British Member of European Parliament, said, "There is sufficient momentum now behind the idea of a fiscal union, behind the idea of a banking union, behind the idea that we need to work together on issues like immigration and asylum for us to move forward to a truly federal Europe and there are many outside elsewhere in the world who are urging us on”.
Some of those in the outside world will be meeting with their EU counterparts at the upcoming G20 summit in Mexico.
"They will want to hear far more from Europe on the topic of fiscal union, particularly measures, like common bonds, that could potentially help even out the block’s ever-increasing debt load. Jack Barton, CCTV, Vienna".
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