I am reading some (opinion) pieces (another one, from here) (and fragments on twitter, eg one, two) from economists that expect the Freie Demokratische Partei's (FDP) policies to be a risk for the European Union, and they cite as evidence that this is a shared sentiment, the rise in the spread between German bonds and southern-Europe-countries' bonds.

Which polices are they referring to? I have seen some mentions of "reduced fiscal flexibility" (when for example speaking of possible bailouts). Is that all?

  • 5
    They have been in favor of letting Greece leave the Union due their debt in the past. So it is possible that they will oppose any policy that would result in more german money going to Europe. However they are somehow pro-european (they do not want to leave).
    – Distic
    Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 12:01
  • 1
    @Federico Not sure how you come up with that quote, but I take it if you were to spend a truck load of money on someone who in return calls you names and does very little to cut their expenses, you wouldn't be too happy to keep spending money on that someone, would you? Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 13:22
  • 3
    @ThorstenWestheider well, I am partially paying that money, since I work and pay taxes in Germany. And personally I think that the "name calling" is done out of desperation created by the spending cuts (that, btw, economists start to regard as not helpful and damaging the economy). No one is without fault, and keeping to blame the others won't end well for the union, something that I personally dread.
    – Federico
    Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 13:41
  • 3
    So what's really happening is that the money makes a little round trip: Other EU countries pay so that Greece will continue to pay them interests. That money is not spent on Greece or mysteriously wasted by a profligate government. Greece cannot possibly pay back that debt in current conditions and cannot recover within the Eurozone as it is managed but it's not prepared to leave as the events of the summer 2015 showed. But the creditor countries don't want to take a haircut or admit to their electorate that they share part of the blame and the money is gone. And the charade goes on.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 19:40
  • 2
    @reirab Germany, with the benefit of a healthy growth and in spite of its own love affair with austerity, decaying infrastructure, etc. is currently over 44% according to the website you have been using, just 4 points shy of Greece, which is incidentally not so far from the debt service figure you found. So, again, a lot of spending relative to what?
    – Relaxed
    Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 19:52

2 Answers 2


The Reuters article linked from one of the Twitter responses sums it up quite nicely:

“The pro-market Free Democrats, as well as part of the CDU/CSU, oppose deeper financial integration in the euro area,” analysts at Morgan Stanley said in a note.

“In exchange for debt relief, the FDP would likely insist that Greece leaves the euro. This suggests headwinds to the euro and periphery.”

South Europe bonds lag as euro hardliners bound for German government

So they are not claiming that the FPD is a "risk for the EU" in general, but they are claming that the FDP will "oppose deeper financial integration".

If you believe that deeper financial integration in the EU or in the eurozone is good for the economy, then it follows that the FDP is endangering the economy by opposing this integration. Even if you do not consider deeper financial integration to always be good, the mere fact that the FDP plans to change some EU policies causes uncertainty about future rules for businesses, and uncertainty is also bad for business.

Note that I'm not judging whether the FDP's proposed policies, or the economists' take on them, are right - I'm just trying to summarise the arguments from the articles.

  • Is that all about the FPD policies towards the Union? Or have they said also something else? I have also added another article (but is behind a paywall and I have not managed to read it)
    – Federico
    Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 13:00
  • 1
    You answer only on economical risks. I think there are more political risks: FDP will be strong in Germany, and Germany is strong in Europe. So if FDP does not want something some other countries want, it is possible that conflicts arises in EU politics. And due to their history you recalled, it is likely they will oppose some policy wanted by other governments (like Macron's Eurobonds).
    – Distic
    Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 13:06
  • @Distic: But that's hardly unique to the FDP. In fact, the Dutch liberals (VVD, sister party to FDP) are in a much stronger position, having won the election. And they don't like Eurobonds either. And while Germany's size means it has more influence in the EP, Eurobonds and the like require a new treaty and therefore unanimity. Any state has a veto.
    – MSalters
    Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 11:38
  • @MSalters : anyone has a veto but if it was really a problem, no European treaty would ever exist. We can imagine France and Germany issuing french-german bonds without Netherlands (not everyone is in the Eurozone), but France and Netherlands without Germany?
    – Distic
    Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 11:49
  • @Distic: Actually, any fund manager can start an "Eurobonds fund" that buys the underlying national bonds; you don't even need political approval for that. But Macron's Eurobonds would have special status. In particular, it appears Germany and the Netherlands might be forced to pay the same interest as France and Greece with such bonds. That is why a veto would be expected (and also why Macron withdrew his idea as fast as he launched it). Treaties are only possible when all countries benefit, at least in the opinion of the respective ruling coalitions.
    – MSalters
    Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 12:14

Some belief that EU is like a bike, you have to move forward or you will crash.

Euro nationalists claim that creating a euro zone budget would provide more stability for the currency bloc. However, the Free Democratic Party (FDP) that would most likely demand finance ministry in a coalition government is not going to agree to such plans.

Even a euro nationalist like French presidential candidate Macron says that the eurozone will fail if there is no reform. While euro realists argue that Europe should take a step back and dismantle the project, the nationalist fraction sees deeper integration as a solution.

  • 9
    Your use of "euro-nationalist" seems rather unusual. The usual term would be (euro) federalists. Similarly, what you call euro realists would usually be called euroskeptics or nationalists (unqualified). The EU is not a nation, it's supranational (above nations).
    – MSalters
    Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 15:42
  • @MSalters euro-nationalists want to create an european state and european nation to challenge USA position in the region. Those people are dangerous.
    – user14816
    Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 6:38
  • 1
    In that case, no, "euro-nationalists" (per your definition) do not agree that the eurozone is a failure.
    – MSalters
    Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 7:18
  • @MSalters, I provided a link. Macron said "[eurozone] benefits Germany at the expense of weaker member states“, "The dysfunctioning of the euro is of good use to Germany". They say, eurozone does not work, can't work, won't work unless we make the integration even deeper, create eurozone budget, minister of finance etc.
    – user14816
    Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 7:58

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .