Foreign Correspondent - A Bavarian Fairy Tale
You can make yourself seasick watching the daily rocking and the reeling in Europe. Will Greece cop another dose of austerity and get another financial lifeline or will they squabble, default on Olympus sized debt and drag the rest of Europe into a mighty financial funk? Are Italy and Spain indebted beyond redemption? Will the European Union hang together? Will the Euro survive?
If the rest of the world is absorbed by this slow-motion car wreck unfolding hourly, daily, then why aren’t Bavarians also on the edge of their seats? Come to think of it why are they having such a conspicuously good time? Aren’t they worried they’ll go down with the ship? Fact is Bavaria is the richest state in Germany and Germany is now the richest country in Europe.
How come? Well the Germans have got a word for it and only they know what it means. Mittelstand! It’s the very German secret to the success of modest family enterprises all the way to the global domination of the local auto-giants like Audi. Foreign Correspondent’s Eric Campbell goes in search of the meaning of Mittelstand and why Germans remain resolutely allergic to debt, committed to hard work and dedicated to the perpetuation of business beyond one or two generations.
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