Did you know?

That one out of five employees in Germany only makes 4 to 6 Euros an hour? In the rest of Europe that is one out of six, in Sweden only 3%. i

That 35% of the vacancies in the German labour market are temporary jobs, and that in Western Germany only half the employees work under a collective working agreement? ii

That Germany helped cause the crisis? The low interest rates of the Euro were needed to get Germany out of the economic doldrums (caused in part by the reunification) and have played an important role in the financial crisis. iii

But that Germany is also making a lot of money out of the crisis? A weaker Euro is good for export, and the trust crisis in financial markets is causing people to look for safe havens. This situation is allowing Germany to borrow money for cheap. iv

That the regional differences within Europe are increasing? Since 2007 Greece’s GNP has dropped more than 13%, in Portugal and Italy the GDPs shrunk by 8%, and in Spain and Ireland they went down by more than 6%, while in Germany and Austria there was a rise of 3% and 4% respectively. v 1 2 3 4

That the crisis in Europe is mostly being used to thoroughly change the employment regulations? We’re talking working longer, lower wages, and easier dismissals? Germany had started this early. Since the crisis the peripheral countries (Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Ireland) have been the test sites for the rest of Europe. vi

by Marc Vandepitte