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    German flags wave in front of the Reichstag building, host of the German Federal Parliament Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany. (File)

    German Economy Thrives at the Expense of Other EU States - National Front Member

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    A right-wing National Front (FN) party memeber said in an interview with Sputnik on Friday that Germany is developing its economy at the expense of the other sates in the European Union, hindering the recovery of the bloc from the crisis.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Germany’s dominance in the EU economic affairs will remain the biggest obstacle to bloc's post-crisis recovery as long as Berlin continues to abuse its dominant position as creditor-in-chief, increase its trade surplus and hinder necessary EU reforms to advance its narrow interests, Sebastien Cochard, a right-wing National Front (FN) candidate in the upcoming French legislative election, told Sputnik.

    "The German government pretends it does not understand what the cause of the crisis is. They explain their leading position not by the unbalanced trade surplus within the EU but by their policies aimed at spending less money, exporting more than importing. Germany does not want to listen, when other countries of the eurozone protest saying that they are trapped by the unbalanced situation, which makes their economies weaker day after day," Cochard, who will be competing for the constituency for the French residing overseas that stretches across most of Asia, the whole of Oceania, and part of Eastern Europe, including Russia, said.

    The candidate explained that Germany’s immense trade surplus, which is the amount by which the value of a country's exports exceeds the cost of its imports, was generated by suppressing wages to subsidize exports and the lower inflation rate in Germany, which makes the cost of producing goods and services there lower than in other EU countries.

    "Germany’s trade surplus is deemed to be always on increase and that is detrimental for its partners in the EU. This cannot be reduced without interference. I hope we have enough members of the French parliament, as well as of the new Italian and Austrian parliaments, to push through some changes of the EU governance," Cochard stressed.

    In 2016, Germany recorded its highest annual surplus which has grown to 233 billion euro ($255 billion), approaching 8 percent of the country’s GDP, according to the report of Germany’s statistical office report published in February.

    He underlined that the FN in the future needs to bridge alliances with the right-wing parties across the EU in the attempt to redirect the economic policy of the bloc. "We have to have a populist government in France, in Italy and, possibly, in Spain in order to force Germany to take real steps," he said.

    According to the politician, major macro-economic imbalances as well as the insufficient convergence between the countries’ economies prior to the EU's establishment are the main causes of the eurozone economic crisis.

    "People are happy to have the same currency and travel freely within the EU. It is difficult to explain them the macroeconomic phenomenon of major imbalances before the creation of the European Union. There should have been a total convergence of economies but it was not the case. It was a political decision; the economies were not on the same pace," he pointed.

    However, according to the data published by the European Commission earlier in May, the eurozone economy shows signs of recovery from the worst of the financial crisis six years ago and saw a steady period of growth, expanding by 1.7% in 2016, it still remains fragile due to significant political uncertainties in Europe, including the United Kingdom leaving the bloc. Moreover, this growth was not equally distributed across all European nations. The southern states are still facing difficulties to recover from the damaging crisis while France’s economic growth slowed in the first quarter of 2017 to 0.3 percent.

    The legislative election will be held in France in two rounds — on June 11 and June 18.

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