Dalrymple writes at the Library of Law and Liberty on differences in fiscal and economic attitudes between France and Germany, two very different countries coexisting uneasily in a supposedly united Europe:
The French have a faith in their state which is in part justified. Its benefits are obvious every day; its stultifying effects are less evident except to the smaller proportion of the population that attempts something new.
The Germans, by contrast, have, or want to have, faith in their currency. The folk memory of inflations is still strong in Germany and with reason. Inflation is their bugbear and fiscal rectitude therefore their policy, irrespective of who is in power. The rebuilding of the country and the achievement of monetary stability is their source of national pride. Financial rectitude is visible in their private lives as well: the Germans use credit cards far less than the French, let alone the British.