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Friends of Germany and Europe around the world have been breathing a sigh of relief at the newfound willingness of Germany's Christian Democrats and Social Democrats (SPD) to discuss reprising their grand coalition government.In short, this is a critical time for Germany and Europe to provide vision, stability and global leadership.The world and Europe need an outward-looking Germany that offers more institutional and financial innovation, so that Europe can be a true counterpart to the U.S. and China on global affairs.A grand coalition government in Germany must help put Europe in a position to lead. French President Emmanuel Macron has offered some important ideas: a European finance minister; Eurobonds to finance a new European investment program; more emphasis on innovation; a financial transactions tax to fund increased aid to Africa, where Europe has a strategic interest in long-term development; and tax harmonization more generally, before the U.S. triggers a global race to the bottom on taxing corporations and the rich.If Europe plays its cards right, Europe's – and China's – scientific and technical excellence would flourish under such a vision.This is because Europe has been unable, and Germany unwilling, to clean up the financial mess – including Greece's unpayable debts – in a fair and forward-looking manner, akin to the 1953 London Agreement on German External Debts, as Germany's friends have repeatedly reminded it.
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