Following the Merkel-Hollande talks last week, many have begun to speak of a softening of Germany’s line towards its indebted European neighbors. Recent weeks have seen Merkel backing down somewhat on harsh austerity pledges, and concessions to ideas like “growth” and “stimulus” have begun to creep into her public statements. Given the abrupt change in tone, it appeared as though Germany may finally be moving toward France’s position on the euro rescue.Perhaps this shift has been oversold. On Tuesday, Germany issued its strongest refusal yet to the idea of “Eurobonds” that would make the Eurozone as a whole responsible for the debts of the most indebted nations. Eurobonds are a cornerstone of Hollande’s euro rescue program, and the idea is also supported by Italy and Brussels. Even the OECD, in its most recent report, backed the idea of a euro bond scheme to break the continent out of its downward spiral. But as the FT reports, the idea remains a non-starter in Germany. As the de facto lead creditor of the Eurozone, Germany would essentially be assuming much of the debt load of its profligate Southern neighbors. The German public has repeatedly expressed opposition to any bailouts of the “Club Med” states without guarantees of austerity, and politicians are likely to follow the voters’ lead. In Tuedsay’s statements, German officials have nixed Eurobonds on the grounds that they may discourage southern countries from enacting much-needed reforms.Moral arguments about Greek profligacy and concerns about Weimar-style hyperinflation at home explain much of the German opposition to Eurobonds. But it’s also about the future: Germany’s population has started to shrink, which means debts incurred now will have to be paid back by a smaller population in years to come. Germany may be flush with cash at the moment, but with one eye towards the future, Germans would rather set money aside for future troubles than bail out Greece, which may end up leaving the Euro anyways.This also helps explain why talk of fast economic”growth” is less important in Germany than it is for other countries. If your population is growing, you need an increase in GDP simply to keep everyone from losing ground. If your population is shrinking, zero growth overall means that GDP per capita—the standard of living—is going up.