Sinn stepped down in April 2016 from the presidency of the Munich-based pro-free market Think Tank IFO that he headed since 1999.
In his book Der Schwarze Juni Sinn not only analyses the worsening state of Germany in the European Union but also puts forward a compact program for a new start in Europe.
Is Europe about to fail? And what has to be done to safe Europe? Those are the key question Sinn tries to answer.
Part of what Sinn tells us is not new. His previous book The Euro Trap –On Bursting Bubble, Budgets, and Beliefs” (Oxford University Press) published in February 2014 was praised by Harvard University economist Kenneth Rogoff as having “produced perhaps the most important scholarly book on the euro in at least a decade, one that should be read carefully by all sides of the debate. His aim is to provide balanced objective insights, not to offer polemic support or criticism.”
For the past two years the situation of Germany in the European Union has become much more precarious, warns Sinn.
“The southern euro countries have been in a persistent crisis mode for nearly a decade, the ECB has been shuffling hundreds of billions of bad risks onto the shoulders of taxpayers, the EU Commission has given up its attempts to safeguard the treaties,” Sinn writes.
“Germany has taken in huge quantities of refugees, and the southern countries’ overdraft liabilities in the Eurosystem have risen beyond all reasonable thresholds.” he continues. “And then came “The Black June 2016” –with Brexit and a major decision by the German Constitutional Court”.
For Hans-Werner Sinn, the month of June of this year, with its devastating decisions, is a turning point. After a thorough analysis, he is convinced that “Germany cannot wait any longer but must act now”.
His reform program for a new start in Europe is not stopping at radical proposals, such as asking for an immediate re-negotiation of the Lisbon EU Treaty. Only by reforming the EU Treaty “is it possible to avoid slipping into a major crisis that would no longer be manageable. Only in this way can Europeans return to more amicable relationships and safeguard their prosperity.”
With his new bestseller Der Schwarze Juni printed already in its third revised edition, the Munich economic professor, who for years has been a contributor to the publication The International Economy, is probably busy these days to add a further epochal challenge to the EU and the euro by US President-elect Donald Trump.
KLAUS C. ENGELEN, Berlin
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