Mostly I'm starting this just to get an idea of what people think and try to understand it a bit more myself. I was watching a news segment about this mess and they did a few street interviews with people in Germany and I found the things they had to say very sensible. One person said that no one likes "austerity" but it's not sustainable to keep increasing budget (debt). Similarly someone else said tightening the budget belt makes natural economic reality. One person talked about how Germany manufactures products that a lot of people buy, which of course means economic growth. One person expressed worry that Greece exiting the Euro may take the rest of the Euro down with it. Another person pointed out that it seems like Greece is lazy and they don't work as hard as they do. I think they're all correct. It's no surprise. Germany is the only country in the Euro that has actually shown growth rather than decline. My understanding about Greece is that they soaked up billions in bail-outs and did very little to change what caused the problem in the first place. Voters are of course all flipping out about austerity measures and most politicians care more about gaining power than what makes long-term sense for the country. I recall hearing a while back about some ridiculous Greek tax loopholes such as a business not having to pay tax while under construction. Because of that many mid-lower end hotels will operate with some building work going on indefinitely. I quickly looked to confirm that but couldn't find anything. If that is true that is completely absurd. Greece doesn't have much in the way of exports but they've got a beautiful country that people want to visit. The earnings from tourism need to be taxed. It's difficult to balance a budget if you're not collecting much in the way of taxes. Austerity cuts are necessary as well (I believe) but it's not the only useful thing a country can do to get their heads above water. There must be a do-able middle ground of austerity, collecting taxes and growth. Then I digress maybe poorer countries were never going to be viable in the Euro. Who really benefits from it and why? What is Germany doing right that so many are doing wrong? Well obviously manufacturing but there's more to it than that. For many years after the Berlin wall came down wages, pensions and benefits were kept low (perhaps by comparison to many places, still are) so they've kept competitive. Inflation is lower and thus their growth isn't artificial. West Germany was (and probably still is) propping up East Germany and it seems to have worked and they've still managed to grow and bail out failing economies. Many Germans are rightfully frustrated that other countries have not followed their lead on success. I get the impression that German economics are much more about avoiding extremes, artificial bubbles and living within your means. I don't know the reality of living in Germany but it doesn't come across like a cold-hearted capitalist approach but it's not a free-for-all, either. Most interestingly is that CEOs don't make thousands of times more than the lowest earner in the company. (wow, what a concept!) Extremes are never sustainable. Why can't anyone grasp that? My knowledge of how things work in Germany is limited so I would love to hear more from people in Germany. In many ways I am relieved Britain has a conservative government right now. Increasing debt doesn't seem like a very logical way to get out of a recession. I'm also glad Britain is not a part of the Euro, although of course we still feel the effect of our nearest neighbours. I'm curious what your thoughts are on this. It's such a complicated mess and I'm trying to wrap my head around a lot of it.