Europe

Euro deal: Reaction from Germany

After marathon talks in Brussels, the leaders of the 17 eurozone countries have struck a deal to contain the debt crisis.

But many details of the plan to solve the crisis remain unresolved.

On Thursday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy claimed the deal had prevented catastrophe - but added that Greece should not have been allowed to join the the eurozone 10 years ago.

BBC News website readers in Germany have shared their thoughts on the debt crisis and how it has affected their country.

Esat Birgen, Dusseldorf

It was a very exciting and a difficult day for Europe. The deal sounds good but it's not the first time that has happened.

I'm not comfortable about the long term future of the euro. We need stability that will last more than a few weeks.

I don't think the politicians even understand what they are doing and what impact it will have. Nobody knows that we won't have the same situation in 15 years.

I think people are turning away from the European Union. They're not anti-Europe but the bailouts are not popular with taxpayers who are funding them.

I'm not against the euro - it makes sense for economies that are integrated. But maybe it needs to be a smaller and stronger group of countries.

The situation in Germany is that we've gone through painful reforms which mean we are better off now. It has been painful for ordinary people and we have a relatively high level of people paying tax and contributions.

There's a feeling of unfairness that we are bailing out countries where this is not the case. I'm not sure Greece really wants to go through with the same reforms. I'm against Europe becoming a transfer union because it is not sustainable.

All the parties in Germany agreed on these measures, maybe a more critical one could gain votes. Perhaps a new movement will develop. I don't think the existing parties would make the shift but a new one formed from those who have disagreed with the bailouts might.

Werner Brach, Thomasburg

I don't think that we should blame the Greek people for the state of their economy - it is their government that is at fault.

All too often people focus on the negative when it comes to the euro. We should all think about the positives and consider how far we've come in the European Union and how much we have achieved.

I have lived in Africa and in the 90s I remember when Germany help to write off Kenya's loans.

If we can help African countries, why can't we do the same for a European country that is in a financial mess?

In Germany, we've been lucky in that we've always had socialism. Therefore, we've always had to make compromises. I think that's the way forward.

I think it was a political decision to introduce the euro - nobody listened to what the bankers had to say about it. Germany wanted stricter rules but other countries opposed this.

We are a family and we have to be compassionate towards other European countries that are less fortunate.

But from now on, I think there should be tighter controls on finance in Europe.

Taxation should be equal in all countries.

Also, pensions should be similar in all countries for instance in one country the retirement age should not be set at 56 when in Germany the age is 67. The social security system is not in the position to carry the heavy load.

I'm confident that we will make the eurozone work, and I know Germany is determined to do so.

Colin MacKenzie, Kaufbeuren, southern Bavaria

I have been living in Germany for the last 40 years.

German people are very organised, disciplined and hardworking.

They see the Mediterranean where people are retiring early and there's talk of corruption and wonder why Germany has to subsidise these people.

You can see the growing intensity in the letters' pages in newspapers. People are concerned about what the politicians are not telling them.

One week, [German Chancellor] Angela Merkel said that there will be no leverage on the new fund, but now Germany has voted for it. Democracy is at threat.

We can't help everyone in Europe.

Personally, the main thing is to have an income. Incomes haven't risen in the last 10 years. But we have full employment here.

We also have lots of manufacturing, so we'll continue to be well-off.

The only problem is that other countries can't afford to pay for our products. Also, it doesn't work if we have to fund worse off countries to pay for the purchases.

I think we have to take the eurozone apart - there are countries in it that should have never been admitted. This would stop the euro from weakening.

What many people forget is that Germans in the western part of the country are paying dearly for re-unification.

We have a solidarity tax alongside an income tax that has to be paid. The solidarity tax was supposed to be a temporary measure imposed to finance programmes in eastern Germany.

On top of that we've been told that countries in Europe need money too - it's just not going to work.

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