German exporters can do without the euro: federation

9th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

German exporters, the backbone of the biggest eurozone economy, could manage without the common currency, the head of their BGA industry federation, Anton Boerner, said on Wednesday.

"What is important for us is the free market, we do not necessarily need a common currency," he told the foreign press association in Berlin. "Is there life for Germany after the euro? Yes there is."

Exporters "can live without the euro," he added.

Boerner was speaking one day after official data showed that record exports had pushed Germany's trade surplus to a three-year high in September, indicating the country was bearing up fairly well in the eurozone debt crisis.

Germany, the world's number two exporter after China, exported goods worth a total 91.3 billion euros ($124.9 billion) in September, 0.9 percent more than in August and the highest level since unification, according to seasonally adjusted figures.

The BGA represents Germany's exporters, mainly small and medium-sized firms. Boerner said that for those companies, "the amount exported to eurozone countries does not depend on the euro itself but on the free market, and the absence of customs duties".

Boerner's remarks stood in stark contrast to the line taken by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other political leaders, who argue that "everything must be done" to protect the eurozone from falling apart.

Consultancy group McKinsey said in a recent study that two-thirds of the economic growth in Germany in the last decade could be put down to the introduction of the euro.

© 2011 AFP

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