When I was a young man, Germany was the engine room of Europe. There was a feeling that its strong enough to carry all the rest of the continent through all of its foibles. They were seen as a center of fiscal virtue and productivity. This seems almost as ancient as its more unsavory past now. Germany has gone from a problem-solver to be a basket-of-problems. If only 20 years ago one would have said that Germans standard of life would decrease markedly he would have been laughed at. No more.
Germany's parliament voted on Friday to formally accept most of a climate protection packet. The legislation aims to cut Germany's greenhouse gas emissions to 55% of the 1990 levels by 2030.