Germany has been the staunch opponent of some of the most promising ideas to end the eurozone crisis—common euro area bonds, enlarging the mandate of the European Central Bank, and drastically increasing the size of the European bailout fund.
With new leadership in France and Greece, Germany could face more resistance on these issues, as politicians move away from austerity and towards policies that will preserve growth.
But despite professions of support for growth measures, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Germany are unlikely to change their tune.
That’s because Germany has been one of the primary winners of the policies that kept Southern European economies weak. Its resilient economy continues to withstand the recession hitting the eurozone periphery; indeed, unemployment continues to be at record lows.
Until Germans realize the scale of the negative consequences they will face in the case of a eurozone break-up, resistance to swallowing the debts of peripheral nations is likely to continue.