Calling the policy “fatal” in an editorial published today in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Fischer says Merkel and her Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble negotiated “without compromise” and he accused them of acting solely in the German national interest and of taking a step towards turning Europe “into a German sphere of influence”.
But isn’t he missing the point?
Not Germany is to blame for what has gone wrong in Europe, but the structure of the European Union itself. It will probably never happen, but in order to preserve the idea of the EU’s founding fathers to unite the continent, Europe must become a Federal union like the United States of America.
In the U.S. , the individual states can’t go bankrupt and there are centralized laws for all states concerning defense, immigration, and the a single head of state like the President, retirement, disability, etc. The alternative would be to go back to the nation state, with borders and no central bank and a country based on ethnicity.
Greece can’t pay it’s bills now and won’t be able to do so in the future. There is simply no way and because more money is on the table the crash will be even worse. Right now the EU is cherry picking laws and rules with no regard to the reasons why the USA and Canada and Australia built the systems they have.
It serves no purpose to attack Germany and the current policy on Greece, which, by the way, reflects the view of the vast majority of Germans, according to the latest polls. Isn’t that what democracy is all about?
Fischer’s idea that Germany has to help Greece to break the European and Western rules and get money with no strings attached – otherwise Germany is anti-European – is an insult against all the other European nations that are convinced that the Greek attitude, rule-breaking, and living beyond their means is irresponsible and should be stopped.
Are Finns not Europeans? What about the Dutch? And Czechs, Slovaks, and pretty much everyone else from the post-communist Europe that agrees with the spirit of the German stance, too? Is it only the Greeks and their combative Marxist parties that have the monopoly over the adjective “European”?
Germany must protect its specific interests as well, every nation does it. But Germany’s viable position – and the ability to enforce at least the most important rules – is important for the rest of Europe, too. Can you imagine how the 2015 Greek crisis would evolve if all other EU countries had the finances and discipline of Italy, for instance? Everything could go wrong, and it probably would.
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