• Germany's news in English

All the US wants from Germany - fix the euro

Hannah Cleaver · 7 Nov 2012, 12:22

Published: 07 Nov 2012 12:22 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Ambassador Philip Murphy agreed that the main European issue for the US was the economy, suggesting the old adage that when one side of the Atlantic sneezes, the other catches a cold had never been more apt.

"We care enormously about Germany and how it does," the ambassador said. "There is enormous linkage between our countries."

"If you look at US multinational companies, at their recent quarterly reports - where they are soft is where they have exposure to Europe. And the same can be seen with European multinationals."

"We care a lot about this, and that has nothing to do with the election. We talk every week with Washington about the eurozone."

He said the number of US experts on the German constitutional court had increased exponentially over the last couple of years as American politicians and business leaders strived to make sense of the eurozone and the efforts being made to save the common currency.

Euro is of crucial importance to US

The discussion panel of political experts agreed that when there was time for Obama to look beyond American shores towards Europe, he would be hoping to see a stabilization of the euro.

William Chandler, professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego said the euro crisis was of crucial importance to the US. "It is important in Washington. We would like to see economic growth take off... that is the interlinking issue; economic recovery. And the European Union is a large part of that, although a great part of the EU is in recession or stagnating."

Political consultant and commentator John Hulsman said the US would be "begging Germany and France to solve the euro crisis. This is a new kind of foreign policy - we are begging Netanyahu over Iran and we will be begging Germany over the euro."

America's chief diplomat in charge of dealing with the Middle East as well as keeping Europeans happy will change as Hillary Clinton is due to step down as Secretary of State. The feeling at the breakfast was broadly that Massachusetts senator and former Democratic candidate John Kerry would be an obvious and sensible choice to replace her.

Dean Moyar, associate professor of philosophy at the Johns Hopkins University, currently at the American Academy in Berlin, said he thought not only would Obama continue to try to "finish clearing up the messes of the Bush presidencies," he would also try to make progress on some of the festering international problems such as Palestine.

"I don’t know what is going to happen in Syria, but I don't see any big push towards an aggressive foreign policy."

Danger from unrealistic expectations

Green Party leader Cem Özdemir told The Local there was a danger of again expecting too much from Obama. "We will expect things from Obama which are impossible, like a new international climate change agreement. If we expect too much we will be disappointed."

Story continues below…

"But we speak the same language - those who vote blue [Democrat] in the US vote red [Social Democrat] and Green here in Germany," he said.

The pressure would be felt through America's focus over the coming four years on matters that did not directly involve Europe, Özdemir said. This would add to the momentum for the European Union to consolidate its institutions and to act more decisively and in a united fashion, he suggested.

The US would not have the capacity for, nor any particular interest in getting involved in Northern Africa, apart from Egypt, Özdemir suggested. "But for us it is huge, these are our neighbours and it affects our interests."

"I think President Obama will push us even more to do our job, as Europe. This is good news for us. We want Europe to deepen and now we have our partner pushing us to do our job, because they are no longer going to do it for us like in Bosnia for example."

Hannah Cleaver (hannah.cleaver@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

15:58 November 7, 2012 by IchBinKönig
The recipient is now more important then the provider, if you work, you don¦#39;t pay enough taxes.
00:22 November 8, 2012 by Steve1949
The headline should read "All the world wants from the U.S. is - To get your debt under control"
04:18 November 8, 2012 by hanskarl
@Steve1949: Exactly!! No racism intended but their is an old kitchen cliche about "the pot calling the kettle black" in the US. How apropos.
18:13 November 23, 2012 by Cincinnatus
If Chairman ObaMao passed any whispered suggestions to Germany, via the ambassador or otherwise, you might want to consider the success that he has had with the U.S. economy. His policies have steered the U.S. toward Greek shoals. This election was the first in which recipients of welfare (of one kind or another) in the U.S. have outnumbered the workers who pay any tax at all. If he continues the taxpayer abuse, we will continue to slide toward a double dip recession. "Who is John Galt?"
Today's headlines
Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

Pegida leader 'paid court costs with group's money'
Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA.

The leader of the anti-Islam movement reportedly used money from Pegida's coffers to pay for two personal court cases, German media reported this week.

Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

10 ways German completely messes up your English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd