"Germans are less and less interested in Southern Europe as a market for exports. The driver of German exports abroad are emerging markets (and the United States, to a lesser degree). Italy is only the seventh-largest importer of German goods, and Greece, Spain and Portugal are even further down the list. Nonwithstanding a collapse of German exports to the 'olive oil countries' (a definition I picked up some days ago in Germany), global German exports have remained steady. Berlin has to thank Beijing. (...) Austerity is a slam dunk for Germany. It guarantees that debts are paid, it avoids that international competitors emerge, keeps the euro low, keeps energy prices low, keeps savings in Germany and attracts funds from abroad. The German choice to sacrifice Southern Europe for the sake of exports to China is based on the belief that European markets are beyond maturity, and that it should be Germany’s priority to establish a reliable presence in the emerging BRICS. Giving up austerity would allow the re-emergence of markets, in Spain and Greece, that have always been secondary for Germany. Berlin prefers a slow decline or a stagnation of the PIGS if it means that Germany can proficiently enter China and other booming markets. (...) A new 'first world' is on the rise, and it will include Germany, China and the US. The Mediterranean quadrant will be out of the game. Germany is pursuing -- with merit -- a 'Victorian Strategy' that entails the sacrifice of the continent for the benefit of Asian commercial routes."
Stefano Casertano, "Germany Has Won the Euro War" (The European, 8.5.2013).