Has anyone noticed that Germany is now “the sick man of Europe”?

According to the EU Commission its largest economy will perform worst this year

Montage © Facts4EU.Org

While Brexit Britain grows, Germany looks to be in deeper trouble

Older readers will recall that in the early 1970s the UK was referred to as “the sick man of Europe”. Indeed this was one of the principal justifications for the then Prime Minister Edward Heath taking the country into what was then known as the ‘European Economic Community’ (EEC).

Now freed from the shackles of what has become ‘the European Union’, it is the United Kingdom which is prospering and the EU’s No.1 economy which is in the doldrums.

Readers do not need to take our word for this. Below we quote the figures from the EU Commission in its ‘Summer Forecast 2023’.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

Economic growth forecasts for the six leading EU economies in 2023

  • Spain : 2.2%
  • France : 1.0%
  • Italy : 0.9%
  • Netherlands : 0.5%
  • Poland : 0.5%
  • Germany : -0.4%

[Source : EU Commission, Mon 11 Sept 2023.]

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2023 - click to enlarge

Forecasts, schmorcasts…

It must be said that the EU Commission – like the IMF, the OECD and the UK’s own ‘Office for Budget Responsibility’ (OBR) – has a poor record at forecasting these things.

That said, if the BBC and Rejoiners can splash these forecasts when they appear to give negative news for Brexit Britain, why shouldn’t Facts4EU.Org do the same thing when the forecasts are so bad for the EU’s No.1 economy?

What did the EU Commission say about the United Kingdom?

Activity in the UK has held up better than previously expected, despite energy prices and inflation being high. Real GDP grew by 0.1% in 2023-Q1 and 0.2% in 2023-Q2, leading to an upward revision to the growth outlook for 2023 compared to the Spring Forecast.

“Moreover, taking account of significant revisions to national accounts data for 2020 and 2021, the volume of UK GDP is now estimated to be 1.8% above pre-pandemic level, instead of being just below in previous estimates.”

- EU Commission Summer Economic Forecast, 11 Sept 2023

This compares with what they said about Germany, their No.1 economy

“The German economy stagnated in the second quarter of 2023, following a decrease in real GDP of 0.1% in the first quarter. For both quarters, growth was significantly weaker than previously expected. Real wage losses continued to weigh on private consumption during the first half of 2023.

“Additionally, weak dynamics in external demand led to subdued exports. Public consumption declined in the first quarter, reflecting the progressive phasing out of COVID-19- related spending.”

“On an annual basis, the economy is now projected to shrink by 0.4% in 2023.”


The Facts4EU.Org team reads the press across Europe each day. When it comes to Germany it is surprising how negative the media there has become about its prospects over the past couple of years.

From a lack of medicines, to a severe shortage of skilled workers, to supply chain disruption in its manufacturing sector, to a rapidly plummeting level of confidence in its fracturing coalition government, most of the news is not good.

The United Kingdom has its own problems, but as usual an organisation such as the British Broadcasting Corporation seems to rejoice in any bad news it can find about the country whose licence fee payers fund its output and pay its exorbitant wage bill.

It is not only the economy. When Germany unilaterally announced last week that it was suspending the agreement on the reallocation of Italy’s burgeoning illegal migrant population, we failed to see this on the BBC. And this has happened under a coalition government run by Germany’s Socialist Party.

As for the EU’s ‘Green Agenda’, no-one in Germany now seems to think this is either possible or desirable. With the German government firing up its mothballed coal-fired power stations whilst closing down the last of its nuclear power stations, where are the howls of protest from the UK’s liberal media?

As ever, we have tried to present some sense of perspective for British and international readers.

We must get reports like this out there

Reports like the one above take far longer to research, write and produce than many people realise. If they were easy, readers would see other organisations also producing these daily. However, there’s little point in the Facts4EU.Org team working long hours, seven days-a-week, if we lack the resources to promote them effectively – to the public, to MPs, and to the media. This is where you come in, dear reader.

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[ Sources: EU Commission | German media ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Mon 18 Sept 2023

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