Sunday, September 23, 2012

Former German Chancellor Schmidt warns against Germany's current nationalist course in the EU

Former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt sensibly warns, "We Germans should never ever be the cause for the stalling, stumbling or collapse of the great project of the European Union. ("Wir Deutschen dürfen nie und nimmer Ursache werden für Stillstand, für Verfall oder Zerfall des großen Projekts der Europäischen Union.")

Excellent advice, which the experience of the last three years overwhelming suggests will be merrily ignored by current German Chancellor Angela "Frau Fritz" Merkel, who is continuing her disastrous austerity policies for the "periphery" countries in the eurozone.

Schmidt gave his warning in an acceptance speech for the Peace of Westphalia Prize for 2012. (Warnung des Altkanzlers. Helmut Schmidt kritisiert deutschen "National-Egoismus"Spiegel Online 22.09.2012)

Peace of Westphalia Prize

He complained that Frau Fritz has made Germany the center of the EU, to the "despair" of Germany's European neighbors.

That gets to the heart of the political failure of Merkel as a German and European leader. The basic impulse for the EU always was the fear of other Europeans that Germany on its own would pursue a nationalist course damaging to the rest of Europe and the desire of Germany that other European countries not have to be afraid of Germany. Frau Fritz' nationalist course of the last three years has all but wrecked the entire arrangement and undermined the political basis for it.

Or, as Schmidt describes it, Frau Fritz' government has acted from a "natioinal egotistic outlook" ("national-egoistischer Sichtweise").

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