Thursday, May 1, 2008

As Euro Nears 10, Cracks Emerge in Fiscal Union

Greece, Portugal, Italy and Spain — the sun-drenched fraternity sometimes called Club Med — are struggling with eroding competitiveness, rising prices and bloated debts. Meanwhile, Germany, the sick man of Europe for most of the euro era, is suddenly vigorous again. Economically fit after years of reforms and fortified by brisk global demand for its machinery and other goods, it has fended off China to retain its status as the world’s export champion.

Surprising, that a nation with a population of 82 million can still outdo China, with a population of 1.3 billion. More, Germany's GDP is smaller than China's (2.833b vs. 7.043b)

Some figures from the CIA Wold Factbook:

Natural resources: coal, lignite, natural gas, iron ore, copper, nickel, uranium, potash, salt, construction materials, timber, arable land.

Land use: arable land: 33.13% - permanent crops: 0.6% - other: 66.27% (2005)

GDP (purchasing power parity): $2.833 trillion
GDP (official exchange rate): $3.259 trillion

China's GDP (purchasing power parity): $ 7,043 trillion

Land use: arable land: 14.86% - permanent crops: 1.27% - other: 83.87%

Natural resources: coal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, uranium, hydropower potential (world's largest)

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