Berlin strongly insists on strengthening European integration because it brings him tens of billions of net profit.
Behind the thunder of Trump's war with the whole world, one event passed unnoticed, the importance of which is difficult to overestimate. At the end of June 2018, EU finance ministers solemnly announced the end of the program of financial assistance to Greece. On it, she gets the last tranche of 15 billion euros and farther all.
It follows from the financial indicators that the crisis has been overcome, the expenses are balanced, the country's economy has recovered, and further from the financial pit, Athens will be able to choose independently. The EU rescue program was recognized as successful. True, behind the scenes are left two financial and one geopolitical moment.
As a result of the "Greek economic miracle" since the country's accession to the EU in 1986 and before the crisis of 2008, the country's GDP grew sevenfold from 50 to 350 billion dollars. However, it later emerged that own welfare growth amounted to only two, the remaining 240 billion turned out to be borrowed . As a result of the global world crisis, the real economy of Greece contracted (its GDP fell to 200 billion), and the debts remained, reaching 120% of GDP, thus depriving the country of the possibility of continuing borrowing. At the same time, the national budget deficit was approaching 24%, which meant the imminent bankruptcy of the country for literally one or two years.
Since the sovereign default of Athens threatened a deep systemic crisis to the entire economic system of the EU, and even quite seriously promised to launch the unstoppable collapse of the EU itself, the ministers of finance of its key countries urgently developed an emergency rescue program and imposed it on the Greeks. According to it, as is usual in the West, it was supposed to "help the money", of course, in debt, with the obligatory parallel reduction of the expenditure part of the national budget and the implementation of a broad privatization program.
If in terms of the allocation of funds, everything went according to plan - with 2010 for 2012 years, Greece received various loans for 154 billion dollars and another 182 billion up to 2014 year inclusive, then the remaining items were complicated. The government tried in every possible way to shy away from their execution. After the triumphant coming to power of the government of Cipras there was a period when the prospect of GEXIT looked quite real. However, at the cost of large collective efforts and even a little miracle to prevent a fatal scenario, Brussels succeeded.
And now, after almost eight years, the EU finance ministers have ascertained the successful overcoming of the peak of the crisis. The course of treatment was unpleasant, but effective. The patient will continue to adhere to bed rest for some time, but on the whole things have definitely gone on to the amendment. However, simply summarizing the general results, as always, showed that medicine is a pleasure extremely expensive. Financial - in particular.
If you do not go into details, on the "economic miracle" the Greeks "earned" about 60 billion dollars. For a country with a population of 10 million people, this is more than serious money. But at the same time they "eat" more 351 billion dollars of debts, which will inevitably have to be returned. Their development, under the current situation of the Greek economy, will take about 20 - 25 years, during which, in addition to repayment of the principal amount, it is necessary to pay about 67,5 billion dollars more.
In the process, it is necessary to complete the program of property privatization, and foreign investors, as there are practically no domestic ones in the country. According to the crisis plan, for debts Greece had to sell off any property for 86 billion dollars. However, in fact, as Reuters reports, it sold for only 4,76 billion, trying to get rid of the loss of secondary assets, like the transfer to foreign hands of fourteen regional airports.
But now you have to sell the rest. Including, the most delicious and profitable. In particular, the state-owned gas company DEPA, which owns the entire GTS of the country, and also participates on behalf of Greece in foreign projects. The state share in it today is 65%, but will be reduced to 15%. In addition, 67-percentage share of the second-largest Greek port of Thessaloniki, through which the overwhelming part of the country's foreign trade turnover is handled, will go to foreign investors (rumored, in this case, Chinese). Together with the largest port - Piraeus - they bring the economy of the country about 2,64 billion dollars a year. Consequently, after the privatization of 1,78 billion of them will go into the income of new owners.
In a word, for two decades of economic prosperity, even almost paradise, now the Greeks pay pensions and social programs by at least 40-42% and more than double the average level of taxes. In addition, as a result of privatization, the budget will lose about 58-63% of revenues. In this connection, some Greek economic experts are jokingly joking that now during the active life of the next generation it will be possible to pay off debts, but it will most likely not be enough to eat.
In turn, the geopolitical effect hidden behind the celebrations on the "successful salvation" lies in the fact that more than 90% of "financial assistance" to the Greeks was allocated by the European Union, including about 78% of them were given by Germany. Accordingly, now the lion's share of interest payments itself, too, she takes.
According to the Der Spiegel, from 2010 to the present, Berlin's profit from urgent loans to Greece for only one percent was more than 4 billion dollars. Taking into account the forecasts on the duration of the remaining payments, experts calculated: the German economy will receive interest from 18 to 20 billion. They should safely add profits from privatized enterprises in the total amount reaching at least 13 billion dollars per year that over the entire period of payments will give the German economy another 325 billion dollars or up to 10% of its GDP for 2017 year.
Thus, the persistence with which Merkel fiercely fights for preserving the integrity of the European Union becomes clear. And the meaning of the project "Europe of two speeds" also appears more boldly. Due to the overwhelming economic dominance in the EU (21% directly and up to 44%, taking into account the closed economies of the other countries of the Common Europe in 2017 in Germany), Germany extracts not only foreign trade profits, so to speak, in its view, far abroad, USA, China, Russia and other "Afrik", but also makes a good profit on the financial exploitation of the intra-European limitrophs themselves. Back in 2014-2015 years of Germany and closely associated with Austria belonged to an average of 40% of all commercial property in Europe, including up to 65% in Eastern Europe.
In other words, at a press conference in Helsinki, Trump did not say anything about Germany and the EU as if it were the same thing. In fact, the Germans have already really bought Europe. With the difference that previously the level of official political power was brought into line with the actual degree of economic influence was much simpler. If necessary, troops easily started up. Today we have to reckon with the principles of democracy and human rights. However, they can not abolish the universality of the laws of nature, but they only prolong the time for the manifestation of the final effect.
Here for these terms Germany is now fighting. So to say, it protects its vast investments. Preservation, especially the increased integration of the European Union guarantees to it not only the preservation of the leading role in it, but also the possibility of further expanding the beneficial domestic German economic expansion. That, in turn, further increases its profitability for the economy of Germany. In turn, the EU's disintegration with the recession of Europe to the level of national borders and sovereign powers half a century ago, the problem of control (and protection) of investments, on the contrary, aggravates, besides threatening to reduce their "profitability."
For this reason, Merkel for European integration will fight literally until the last patron - a Greek, a Bulgarian or a Pole. And I must say that with all the problems and reservations, with all the variety of other influencing factors and trends, in general at this historical stage it succeeds quite successfully.
And Trump's policy only stimulates the Germans to restore geopolitical subjectness. Germany the size of all of Europe immediately immediately associated with the Fourth Reich, a concept that has a strong negative connotation, immediately causing a friendly rejection by virtually everyone. But the same Germany, packed in the form of a simple leader (even absolute) of the United Europe looks completely different. Peacefully. It's civil. Representative. Really. And is no longer associated with the Hitler period of its history. In combination with the money made by investments, this moment is the most serious incentive for further absorption by the Germans of the European continent in the EU format.
However, Russia, of course, is also profitable. It is much easier to build business relations with one sane business partner than with the collective farm of 27 "equal negotiators", each of which "has its own interests that require priority satisfaction," and some of them in general "very much not for money" dream of creating their own empires.