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Friday, August 19, 2011

Will Recent Franco-German Talks Lead to Lower Unemployment Throughout Europe?

Keeping that unemployment level down when the market itself is plummeting is essential in maintaining a calm and collected citizenry. Just ask Germany, which ranks only behind the Netherlands and Austria as far as unemployment in the Eurozone goes. No, it’s not time to call it quits and immigrate to another continent, attending "South University online" in order to reclaim our livelihoods. But it is time to question why nobody, including the United States and the majority of European member states, seems to be even slightly interested in job creation, or, at best job, salvation as we veer close to a double-dip recession.

It’s time to start putting the European Union to good use. According to the BBC, the Sarkozy-Merkel talks on Tuesday focused mainly on the latter calling for the rest of Europe to balance their books. This is typically German and no doubt an aspect of why they’ve managed to thus far avoid economic calamity at a level equal to the rest of Europe. But let’s be real. It’s nonsense in light of what the heads of the top European economic engines could be doing.

Let’s forget about all this talk of "Eurobonds" which are just another virtual solution to a problem based in reality. That problem is, of course, that enormous amounts of the European underclass are unemployed or underemployed relative to the post-war historical norm. Optimistic outlooks that say otherwise deceptively classify people seeking forms of higher education, such as nursing degrees, as underemployed, not unemployed. That’s in spite of the fact that there are limited positions that can be promised to these individuals.

Even disregarding that solution, which Germany justifiably sees as unequal in its burden distribution, there exists simple ways for European leaders to ease unemployment across the continent. They amount to exercising the true potential power of the European Union, that is, having a uniting currency.

Germany, master of exports, are ultimately reliant on global demands, of which the rest of Europe entail a majority percentage. Their fate is tied with every other nation that uses the Euro.

So Europe’s underemployed nations slumped by recent events need to invoke their influence on the German export machine, and more importantly maximize their effect on the Euro itself. Consider it a gentlemanly form of "mutually assured destruction". So long as Germany lives off of European demand and can’t shake off the Euro, France and the rest of Europe have some serious bargaining power.

That is to say, these recent talks could in fact help ease European unemployment. That is, if France and the rest of Europe realize how much power they really do have.

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