Mar 27 - Strikes, falling business morale, problems with Russia and now a central bank considering QE. Should Germany be worried?
Fed up and frustrated - and it's not just the passengers at Frankfurt airport feeling that way. The Germany government has good reason to as well. It doesn't often have to deal with a strike, a slowing economy and a crisis involving a key business partner all at the same time. Public sector workers called the strike at airports across Germany as part of their campaign for higher pay. Hundreds of flights were cancelled. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PASSENGER, JOHN HIGBEA, SAYING: "We are flying back to the United States and our flight is cancelled and this point we don't know when we are going to be able to leave and go back home." (SOUNDBITE) (English) PASSENGER GOING TO DALLAS, SONIA NOAKER, SAYING: "It's ridiculous, I don't know what Germany is got going on, Frankfurt, but they need to work on it. Everything is changing." It certainly is - after years of being the euro zone power house with the golden touch - Germany has some issues to deal with. Business morale and inflation are falling below target - and now the Bundesbank is thinking the unthinkable - allowing the ECB to print money. Plenty of other central banks have done it, including the U.S. Japan and Britain. But it's always been a No No in Germany and the change of stance surprised markets sending the euro lower. So will it happen? Adam Cole is from RBC Capital Markets SOUNDBITE: Adam Cole, RBC Capital Markets, saying (English):" "We think the central bank is some way from setting policy with a view to directly weakening the exchange rate, the euro is merely around fair value in our view, so I think the buildup in expectations that the ECB is going to do something to help exporters is probably a bit misplaced." There's no real need to worry about Germany - it has plenty of successful companies, huge stored wealth and the ability to control the direction of Europe. But the impact of the Ukraine crisis on Russia's economy could hurt 6,000 German firms and lead to changes in energy policy. Dominic Johnson is from Somerset Capital. SOUNDBITE: Dominic Johnson, Somerset Capital Management, saying (English): "It has been very luxuriant and focussed on non-productive and rather expensive forms of alternative energy. You may now see a return to fracking, nuclear etc. etc which will be an opportunity for investors." Grounded planes will save a bit of energy - but they won't help the economy or the mood in the country.