Germany's 2020 was a year of failures

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Dystopian 2020 was a year of revelation for the Greek political system and the domestic elites since they were surprised to discover the unacknowledged hostility of Germany towards Greece, as I will document below.

Most peoples in Europe, including the Germans, have experienced a similar chill, realizing the insidious tactics followed by Berlin during the pandemic crisis, both in the health and economic fields.

But also for Germany itself, 2020 proved to be a year of defeats for its diplomacy and degradation of its international prestige.

From the outset, with the outbreak of the pandemic, Germany operated egocentrically with authoritarianism by seizing medical supplies at its airports destined for other EU countries.

Following the outbreak of the second wave of the pandemic, many in Europe accused Germany of misleading them into not proceeding with the lockdowns in time, but also because the EU did not supply sufficient quantities of vaccines.

It is also a question of how all countries received 10,000 vaccines in the first phase and Germany one million…

Germany was disappointed

In May 2020, under the dictates of the German Federal Constitutional Court (CSD), Berlin attempted to block the liquidity policy in the Member States by the European Central Bank (ECB), revealing its blackmailing intentions.

Then, when it took over the EU presidency, Germany was finally forced to accept debt reciprocity, which would create funding for the Recovery Fund.

However, through its willing satellites, it set limits and strict rules so that its competitors would not benefit beyond the coverage of losses.

Thus, Germany's six-month presidency of the EU disappointed many in Europe in many areas, while its dominant role was directly questioned.

As is well known, Hungary and Poland refused to sign the European budget and blocked the Recovery Fund when Berlin raised the issue of the rule of law for them, which eventually collapsed.

The same happened with Brexit, which was one of the hot issues of the German presidency.

The fact that the financial sector was left out of the agreement means that Britain was not defeated. It should be noted that London accused Frankfurt of "stealing" 400 billion euros!

German Waterloo in the Security Council

During the 2010s, Germany succeeded in establishing its image internationally as a geo-economic superpower.

At the same time, it put forward its plans to develop into a geopolitical power through diplomacy (Berlin Conference, etc.), as the projection of military power is impossible due to restrictions imposed after the Second World War.

This, of course, did not prevent it from becoming a major arms exporter to Turkey and other jihadist or authoritarian regimes.

In 2020, Germany, which completed its two-year term as a temporary member of the UN Security Council, not only failed to persuade it to become permanent, but its ambassador, Christoph Heusgen, resigned with curses from both Chin and Russia.

"We will not miss you at all," said the Russian ambassador, and the Chinese said "From of the bottom of my heart: Good riddance, Mr. Ambassador!"

It is noteworthy that in recent months, Germany, when it made sure that Trump left the US presidency, launched fierce attacks on Russia and China at the UN, in order to please the Biden administration.

Regarding its permanence in the Security Council, the Chinese said that "Germany's presence in the Security Council does not meet the expectations of the people, nor those of the body."

The Russians said many countries that were in favor of Germany joining the body as a permanent member were reconsidering their position, wondering if there was room for "so much cynicism in the Security Council".

As is well known, Germany is eager to join the Security Council so that its designation as a "hostile state " can be eliminated, in accordance with Articles 53 and 107 of the UN Charter.

German diplomacy

The German presidency also had to face challenges in Libya, Nagorno-Karabakh and especially Turkish revisionism in the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean.

In Libya, Berlin also failed to push for a solution to the civil war with its organized Conference. The parties did not follow the agreement, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan effectively annulled it.

In fact, the Turkish president humiliated Berlin, but also NATO, with the episode of the failed arms embargo imposition against a Turkish ship carrying war material.

Germany Merkel Erdogan EU
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The German failure resulted in the consolidation of Russia and Turkey's position in Libya.

In the case of Nagorno-Karabakh, Berlin has made a fool of itself for the sake of Turkey, while it has done the same with the Turkish-Libyan agreement on maritime zones.

Germany expressed its dissatisfaction with the legal demarcation of the Greek-Egyptian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), as well as with the MEDUSA 2020 exercise, while it failed to stop Turkish provocations, a fact that brought it against France as well.

Nevertheless, Berlin secured a new postponement of sanctions against Turkey, rejected the Greek request for an arms embargo on Turkey as "irrational" and proposed to our country the demilitarization of the islands.

It is clear that Germany is systematically turning its back towards its old geopolitical ally, Turkey.

It tolerates the action of the Turkish intelligence agency and the Far-Right Gray Wolves within its territory and pursues the exploratory talks between Greece and Turkey and the Five-Party Conference on the Cyprus issue, before the Biden policy is unfolded by Washington.

The new German strategy in the EU

Germany fears the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, both in terms of the collapse of its "clients" and in the political field, especially with ongoing initiatives by French President Emmanuel Macron for the EU's autonomy from the United States.

Berlin is concerned about the failure of its EU presidency and the suspension of the Stability Pact.

That is why precautionary measures have been taken to avoid questioning its hegemony.

Munich Conference President Wolfgang Ischinger recently proposed a "resilience agenda" for post-pandemic Europe.

An agenda that includes goals such as self-sufficiency in medical supplies (masks, syringes, vaccines), restrictions on movement in areas, a more stable euro, but also measures against Chinese influence, as well as large German investments in the EU and NATO.

A common denominator of Ischinger's proposals is the strengthening of German industry, the expansion of German capital and the strengthening of the affected international role of Berlin under the EU lion.

It should be noted that the pandemic forced Germany to borrow a record amount of 406.5 billion euros from markets in 2020, while for 2021 a new loan of 160 billion euros is foreseen, in order to service old loans of 248 billion of which it earns billions in interest by discounting them.

In addition, the European Central Bank has bought German bonds (government bonds, bonds of states and institutions) totaling 562 billion euros.

The controversial Rome of the German economy

Despite its gigantic borrowing, Germany did not avoid the suicide of the Minister of Finance of the Land of Hesse Thomas Schäfer, who fell on the train tracks because he could not find funding for the needs of the citizens.

It is noteworthy that more than 13 million Germans live below the poverty line.

Unemployment, the second lockdown and the spectrum of bankruptcy for about half of German companies are expected to exacerbate the disparities between the poor North and the rich South. Nevertheless, "the net assets of the richest Germans amounted to 594.9 billion by the end of July", ie about 95 billion more than in the same period of 2019."

According to a recent article by Professor Costas Melas, based on a recent study on the income distribution of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), Germany is a champion of inequality, as 50% of the poorest owns half the wealth that 0.001% of the population (400 families) holds.

Although the German Council of Economic Experts forecasts growth of 3.7% in 2021, after the recession of 5.1% in 2020, the situation in the German economy remains controversial, as a wave of bankruptcies is expected.

The Leibniz Institute for Economic Research (IWH) estimates that even if the economy grows, dozens of banks will go bankrupt.

There are also fears that German banks could drag the entire European banking system, which is already facing similar problems, into disaster, with red loans soaring to €800 billion in the second lockdown.

It was this fear that forced the ECB to expand its liquidity injections by an additional €500 billion.

The views of the author do not necessarily reflect those of Greek City Times.

Makis Andronopoulos is a regular contributor to SLPress.

Guest Contributor

This piece was written for Greek City Times by a Guest Contributor