President of the ifo Institute: “We must not allow the EU disintegrates” | Prof. Dr. Clemens Fuest


As one of the leading economic research institutes in Europe, the ifo Institute forms a bridge between academic research and practical policy. The aim of the as a recognized non-profit Association is to achieve this through applied and policy-oriented economic research, greater stability, prosperity and social cohesion in Europe and in the world.

This also includes the published monthly by the ifo business climate index – an important indicator for the economic development in Germany.

Sven Lilienström, founder of the Initiative, faces of democracy, spoke with the President of the ifo Institute, Prof. Dr. Clemens Fuest on the privilege of living in a democracy, the present unrealistic EU-accession of Turkey and hope for a longer transition period when Britain to leave the EU.

Find out more: Europe’s right-wing populism is already defeated – that is what we now must concentrate

Prof. Dr Fuest, the first question to the “faces of democracy” is always: What is the significance of democracy and democratic values for you personally?

The democratic state of law is the only form of government that allows you to live in freedom and prosperity. I am grateful that I can live in a well-functioning democracy, I consider this as a great luck and privilege. Democracy is not perfect, but we know of no better system of government, but many are significantly worse.

I would personally at any time for the defence of our democracy and the values associated with it, such as people, equality before the law, freedom of expression, and so on.

Europe is the world’s largest economic area: the EU Is strong enough to cope with the increasing economic and financial policy challenges have in common? What happens if Europe fails?

In the case of the EU, it is similar to democracy, the EU certainly has weaknesses, but for the peaceful Coexistence of the States of Europe, the EU is so far the best idea and the only one that has worked. We must not let the EU fall apart.

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Of them and the quote is: “When I saw what happened, it was clear to me that Europe had changed that night.” How do you assess the current state-of-the Brexit negotiations?

Bad. Neither side seems as yet to have a brilliant idea, like a hard Brexit can be prevented with incalculable negative consequences for both sides. But I have not given up hope yet, that it is possible to prevent the agreement on a longer transition period, that in March 2019 the Chaos breaks out.

Keyword populism: Can you identify the “typical” populists, on the basis of its economic and political demands and, if so, what do you advise voters to fall in the trap of populism?

Populists claim that society consists of two groups: the vast majority, the homogeneous interests, and a corrupt Elite that exploits the people. Populists claim to stop this exploitation, if you take over the government. Populists operate selectively the exclusion of certain groups in society that you calculate these elites.

Populists also argue that immigrants, international trade and international capital movements or international organisations for economic ills are domestic, and that foreclosure solves these problems. You ignore national budget constraints and promise their electors all sorts of well, if you come only to Power. Populists offer simple solutions to complex problems.

One should not, however, overlook the fact that there are populist elements in the behaviour of many politicians and parties, not just the ones that are commonly referred to as populists.

Find out more: survey shows: Every third German would be his Pass for a European exchange

Already now the EU is Turkey, under President Erdogan, candidate from the table. What are the economic consequences of the final demolition of EU-accession negotiations for all parties Involved?

As a EU accession of Turkey, currently anyway, is unrealistic, would, with regard to a potential membership, little change. In the framework of the accession negotiations, Turkey receives from the EU financial assistance, would be eliminated. In addition, the fronts would harden, and the EU-friendly political forces would have it even harder. This topic is not discussed in the German election campaign, the politicians are very intelligent.

Inside the AfD – The Community for critics of the right-wing populists

The economic and financial Committee of the EU exerts a significant criticism of the economic policy of U.S. President Donald Trump. Trump is a risk for the world economy?

The against the free trade policy of Trump is a serious risk for the world economy. This also applies to his exit from the international climate policy. In spite of this, it is important, however, to stay with him in conversation.

Many politicians outbid each other in the criticism of Trump, to make a name for themselves in the local electorate. This can cause significant damage, because the USA are and will remain for us the most important political and economic Partner.

Prof. Dr. Fuest, our seventh question is always Personal and your private life, we have found only a little: What do you do in your spare time

Skiing. With family and friends.

Thanks for the Interview Mr. Prof. Dr. Fuest!

Diesers Interview first appeared in faces of democracy


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