Letter: Don't blame the Germans: the fault lies with the British PM and his Chancellor

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The Independent Online
Sir: I have been working in Germany for the past 17 years. From that perspective, the economic policy of the present British government has seemed profoundly quixotic. Low German inflation is more symptom than cause of its economic success. The causes are, rather:

(a) a well-educated and superbly trained workforce;

(b) the German tradition of zuverlaessigkeit, a word for which the English translations 'dependable' and 'reliable' do not convey the depth of the commitment;

(c) a pattern of corporate ownership that allows Germans to manage for the long term; and

(d) a strong chauvinistic tendency for Germans to support their own industries.

Until Britain can match these competitive strengths, it seems to me that a fixed parity can lead only to a steady erosion of our industrial market share. Industrial competitiveness is the precursor, rather than the product, of a stable currency.

Yours faithfully,

JEREMY ARNOLD

Prague

17 September

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