Both models differ on the steps needed to get out of a deep financial and economic crisis. The austere and virtuous North wants to impose a bitter price on the spendthrift South for its rescue. Membership in the Euro zone has led to the abandonment of competitive devaluations, quickly replaced by variable-rate taxation. A drastic limit on government spending; and hiking the VAT to 23% (as required by the plan of aid to Greece) are the safest ways to permanently “cure” a country and drive it into a wall. The cries of protesters on 1 May in Spain, Italy, Portugal, let alone France, had the same dramatic resonance, beyond the usual business. Faced with "firmness" of the North, new voices are heard that favor a stimulus package that combines hope and reality to budgetary efforts. The European Commission has in his files an investment plan that can mobilize 200 billion euros of public and private investment to jumpstart economic growth. This is an opportunity for Southern Europe to assert its strengths and redefine a viable and sustainable business model in the face of globalization and financial markets. Probably faster than other major industries, tourism has a place in this economic model of a South where national self-interest could be erased in favor of a Sacred Union of the Sun Belt.
Well-coordinated tourism can have the same virtues and drive the same commercial success than the association of governments around the Airbus project. Culture, exceptional location, gastronomy and friendliness are all additional factors that can build an investment policy to revive a solution adapted to all segments of tourism. This is probably the greatest virtue in Southern Europe. It has to turn as much to business tourism and major conventions, as family tourism and its major attractions, tourism office and large populations. On each of these markets, the supply needs to be added or renewed. It is best not to do so in a disorganized manner but rather with smart planning that benefits the entire Mediterranean region. Structures already exist within the Union. One only needs to reactivate them, such as the European Travel & Tourism Action Group, coordination group of European policies, now chaired by the Portuguese Minister of Tourism. This is an opportunity not to be missed. If a Marshall Plan is being prepared, it must also be adapted to the new European realities, which are not industrial. Hopefully the message will fit. The joint GNP of five Southern EU weigh considerably more than that of China.
And if that was where the new emerging economy lay?