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Germany is the EU's most populous state and its economic powerhouse, accounting for over 20 percent of the bloc's GDP.First, Germany has preserved its manufacturing capacity much better than other advanced economies have. Finally, there is Germany's firm commitment to price stability.Institutionally, the EU has become Germany writ large.The EU's gospel of "subsidiarity" reflects the division of powers between Germany's federal government and states (Laender). Germany ensures that Germans fill the leading positions in EU bodies. Germany's insistence that nonwage costs be equivalent throughout the EU is less a device for enhancing Germany's competitiveness than for reducing others'.The EU, especially the 19-member eurozone, thus functions as a vast home base for Germany, from which it can launch its assault on foreign markets. Germany exports to the EU 30 percent more than it imports from it, and runs one of the world's largest current-account surpluses.
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