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People: France's Advantage Over Germany

Feb 23, 2018 | 08:00 GMT
A woman uses an aid to walk along Berlin's Lake Tegel in June 2017.

A woman uses an aid to walk along Berlin's Lake Tegel in June 2017. Not only is Germany's population shrinking overall, but it is also aging rapidly, a factor that will have a tremendous impact on its economic outlook.

(TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images)

In the last several centuries, no two countries have left such an impact on continental Europe as Germany and France. The giants have long jockeyed for position, often determining the fate of their neighbors in the process. In their battles for influence, demographic advantage has often proved telling, with greater population frequently translating into greater influence. And as it was in yesteryear so it is today: With the demographic momentum swinging from Germany back to France in the 21st century, profound changes are in store for both countries -- as well as for Europe at large....

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