Germany still needs Europe to flock together

Germany can’t afford a new crisis or the eurozone’s dissolution. Post-election priorities will include sturdy trade links within Europe, a new energy strategy and a strong-Franco-German alliance.

Much of Europe is eagerly anticipating the results of Germany's September 22 parliamentary elections, but this anticipation may be somewhat misplaced. Of course, Germany's importance to Europe is well founded. It is Europe's largest economy and its main bailout creditor to struggling eurozone countries, so Germany's economic health is vital to the economic health of Europe as a whole. But the relationship goes both ways: Germany's economy relies on the free trade zone and on exports, which the rest of Europe can buy only if it can afford to do so. Thus any government in Berlin will continue to aid countries afflicted by the European crisis – even at the risk of growing domestic opposition.

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