Saint turns sinner: Germany's dubious crusade

It's no longer the growth machine of Europe, but that hasn't stopped Germany from embarking on a domestic spending spree while preaching austerity to the rest of Europe.

The European debt and growth crisis has seemingly divided the continent into saints and sinners. On the one hand, there are the profligate, lazy, unproductive countries of the European periphery, unflatteringly abbreviated as the PIIGS. On the other hand, there are the supposedly healthier, prudent and more efficient countries of the Euro core, led by Germany. Thanks to their economic strength, the core countries would be able to support the periphery. In return, they demand austerity and budgetary discipline from the others, based on their own shining example.

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