Many thanks to Burning Our Money for this highly illuminating graph.
P = Portugal
I = Italy
I = Ireland
G = Greece
S = Spain
Fair enough, you may say. The Big Bad Wolfsburgs had to cope with the indigestion of swallowing East Germany and they have just - well - run their country far more competently than the happy-go-lucky PIIGS.
That's not the way it works, though. The houses of wood and straw may have blown away, but there is always the final refuge of a floating currency that simply sails with the prevailing wind.
Seems to me that if the Germans want to keep the advantages of the Euro, they should also shoulder the cost of maintaining it. Bit of a political problem for Merkel, though. If she admits this to her domestic audience to pacify their self-righteous outrage about the PIIGS's profligacy, she will make it extremely difficult for the the PIIGS leaders to sell austerity to their own people.