Brussels May Punish German Competitiveness, Die Zeit Reports

And stupider.

Maybe the world should outlaw lawnmowers and require lawns be cut with toenail clippers to create jobs. I’d suggest they were trying to weaken the euro but surely that would be giving them too much credit…

Brussels May Punish German Competitiveness, Die Zeit Reports

By Jeff Black

February 2 (Bloomberg) — European Union officials are considering measures that would punish countries that run excessive trade surpluses or whose competitiveness is too high, Germany’s Die Zeit newspaper reported, citing a document.

The proposed measures, outlined in a position paper obtained by the newspaper, would require states to keep their current account balance within a “corridor” of plus or minus four percent of gross domestic product, Die Zeit said.

A similar boundary would apply for the yearly change in unit labor costs, a measure of price competitiveness, the newspaper said. In 2008, Germany’s current account surplus was 7 percent of GDP and its price competitiveness improved by 5.5 percent, Die Zeit reported.