EU Commission prods Germany

As the European Union increasingly looks like a German welfare state, deficit-laden union leaders continue to push for leniency and a generous restart on austerity measures by Germany, the only nation in the union running a surplus in its budget. In an election year, Brussels is pushing Germans to open their collective wallets and purses to prop up EU members who once again spent more than they had or could borrow in a continuing climate of slow growth and high unemployment.

Brexit changed stimulus argument

EU leaders are increasingly wary of renewed unrest and riots that could materialize under rigid austerity cutbacks on government spending.

On the other side, the UK voted to secede from the euro zone with June’s Brexit vote and growing anti-EU sentiment is far outpacing economic growth in EU member countries. Unfortunately, Europe’s economy is still moving in slow motion -- and in many cases, backwards. Still, on Wednesday the executive European Commission lobbied its members for a more forgiving austerity implementation as a means of spurring economic growth. Skeptics, after a long dry economic run, doubt that loosened budgets will create sustainable economic growth.

"There is a case for a significantly more positive fiscal stance for the euro area," the Commission said in a review of next year's budget plans from national governments.

"The recovery is still not accelerating, there is still significant unused capacity in labor and capital and uncertainty is high."

Irrational stimulus plan fractured EU

The one-size-fits-all plan to walk back austerity to increase EU spending affects Germany more than other countries because the German people pick up the largest portion of the tab, especially since the UK is pulling out.

Skeptics have maintained from day one that unequal economies would ultimately produce an unbalanced, fractured EU dependent on successive and never-ending bailouts of weaker economies by stronger members. For the most part, this is exactly what evolved over the years, leaving Germany as the lone big funder.

Germany has its own problems

For their part, Germans are dealing with costly and violent social uprisings over the massive influx of Muslim immigrants from the Middle East and Syria on one hand and the ever-present hand of the EU commission reaching for bailout funds. Meanwhile, Chancellor Angela Merkel's political party faces elections this winter and could encounter fierce competition and resistance from the fiscally hawkish Eurosceptic AfD political organization. In any event, Merkel will be pulled in two different directions by those opining for a looser budget and increasingly conservative fiscal hawks.

Socialist Pierre calls for loosening budgets

At the same time, Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, the Socialist former French finance minister, said at a news conference that "We want to deepen the economic and monetary union and the Commission is acting as a finance minister of the euro area." Such a blurring of the lines of sovereignty does not sit well with many Germans.

As Moscovici calls for heavier spending and investment by those “who can afford it,” there was no response from Berlin or Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, although in the past he has prominently disagreed that looser spending on failing EU economies can generate sustainable growth.

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