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At long last, Germany is ready to swear in a new government.Germany has long enjoyed the luxury of pretending to be something it is not: a small country. During the election last year, there was little public debate about the European Union and Germany's role in it. But the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, the reform agenda of French President Emmanuel Macron, and, to a lesser extent, the United Kingdom's vote to leave the EU, have focused minds across Germany. The Europe chapter in the coalition agreement between CDU/CSU and the SPD has been framed in Germany as an answer to Macron's eurozone reform proposals.Germany must also tackle its large savings surplus, which is unbefitting Europe's largest economy.German savers could also do with a low-fee public wealth fund, which could boost equity investments both in Germany and across borders, while reducing German demand for international safe assets.The new German government should also develop a new trade policy that recognizes and is willing to use the country's economic clout, and that of the EU, more strategically.
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