Economics and politics - comment and analysis
2. August 2015 I Heiner Flassbeck I General

Dear readers,

The team of flassbeck-economics is taking a break until September 1st. We wish all of you all the very best in the meantime and we hope that you will have a nice, interesting and peaceful summer holiday.

The last six months have been an extremely hectic time. It was a great challenge for the team to respond effectively to all the dramatic events in Germany and Europe. We were driven by your interest in our work and your willingness to engage with us and discuss our positions and insights. The rising number of readers as well as the huge number of (mostly) very positive reactions from our readership is encouraging. Due to the increasing requests, it was not possible to answer everyone or to deal with all the questions raised. For those readers whom we were unable to respond to, we only ask for their understanding. .

Unfortunately, the political situation in Germany and Europe gives little reason for optimism in the upcoming autumn season. Dogmatism and bigotry continues to threaten the public sphere, social cohesion and peaceful cooperation between nations. During the last couple of months, one small country became the target of resentment and contempt in Germany. A smearing campaign, of an extremely repugnant nature, was set up against it. Almost incredibly, it laid bare emotions and mechanisms that most of us thought were left behind once and for all. The nationalistic arrogance and the search for enemies are a reminiscence of the collective madness that occurred during the middle of the last century. It seems that petty nationalism, nationalist arrogance, intolerance and the unwillingness to grapple with alternative views have not been decisively overcome. On the contrary, the storms caused by the financial crisis seem to have brought some of the old ghosts back to the surface again.

However, there are flickers of hope. The shocking and senseless German Diktat to Greece has alarmed many enlightened people worldwide and continues to inspire many people to act against it. In Germany, those who do not agree with the lopsided policies of the federal government have to raise their voices and form a broad front of opposition. Only then would we be able to prevent the intellectual isolation in economic matters that propagates the myth that ”the rest of the world is challenging Germany because they are not as efficient as we are.”

We will continue to contribute to this cause from September 1st onwards. In case it is necessary (the deadline for the negotiations with Greece is August 20!), we will intervene in the meantime. Please continue to support us. Feel free to read up on earlier contributions on our site and to watch a video of a lecture, a presentation or an interview. That may help us improve our mutual understanding and may also help us in advocating the much needed change altogether.

With best regards,

Heiner Flassbeck and the team of flassbeck-economics