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The Half Empty Stein

August 19, 2010

Last Saturday Germans were celebrating the fact that their economy grew faster in the second quarter of 2010 than at any time since 1990, and twice as fast as any other country in the Euro-zone. Shortly afterwards the BBC reported that “German investor confidence has fallen sharply this month on fears that the strong economic growth recorded in the second quarter will not last”.

The other day,  a Newsweek survey showed that Finland is “the best country in the world”. No we’re not, said one Finnish commentator in the Guardian. What about suicides, alcoholism, depression and our long dark winters?

This glass-half-empty stuff can get contagious. I’m sure I could find a few Spaniards who would tell you that “it’s great that we won the World Cup, but bad news because the chances are zero that we’ll win it again next time.”

Coming from a country that in recent years has won very little, doesn’t come top of silly surveys and certainly doesn’t have an economy to boast about, it’s comforting to know that our neighbours are equally adept at souring triumph with pessimism.

At least we British do humour pretty well. Our German friends who fear the dreaded double-dip recession should check out this clip from the British comedy duo Bird and Fortune about the original sub-prime crisis. Happy days!

From → Business, Social, UK

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