The European Central Bank normally does its best to hold the euro together, but a study it recently issued has created a furor that could do the opposite: drive a wedge in European unity. Enlarge This Image Der Spiegel The cover of this week’s Der Spiegel emblazoned with the headline “The Poverty Lie.”
Many Germans, egged on by German news media, are upset about the study’s conclusion — never mind how misleading — that they are among the poorest people in Europe, with fewer assets than even the bailed-out Greeks or the hat-in-hand Cypriots.
This week, Der Spiegel, the influential German newsmagazine, summed up the building sense of outrage. The cover portrayed a man, presumably a Greek, astride a donkey carrying baskets bursting with euros. The headline read “The Poverty Lie — How Europe’s Crisis Countries Are Concealing Their Wealth.”
The reaction of the German news media seems to be inflaming the debate about who should pick up the bill for the euro crisis. The central bank study suggested that countries like Greece that have been receiving handouts in fact have hidden stashes of property wealth.
Very interesting to see how this plays out.