dimanche 28 mars 2010

THE NEW GERMANY

“The debate in Germany over Greece is polluting the atmosphere and creating anti-European feeling,” said Guy Verhofstadt, a former Belgian prime minister and leader of the centrist group ALDE in the European Parliament.

“In the space of a few weeks, we are destroying all our efforts to bring Europe closer together,” Mr. Verhofstadt said Wednesday, adding that, after the reunification of the country, “there is certainly a new Germany .”

German analysts have noticed the change, too. Joachim Fritz-Vannahme, Europe director of the Bertelsmann Foundation, a German research organization that focuses on democratic reform, said that Mrs. Merkel “finds herself in opposition to more or less all of the E.U.”

“In a very prominent way,” he added, “the German government is saying, ‘Our national interest comes first. We behave like all the others do.”’

Germany was historically a main motor of European integration, a project conceived as one of Franco-German reconciliation in the aftermath of World War II.

But leaders of the largest economy in Europe, and therefore the biggest contributor to the Union , began to take a more assertive line more than a decade ago when Chancellor Helmut Kohl was replaced by Gerhard Schröder, a politician from a younger generation.

At times during her period in office, Mrs. Merkel has asserted strong European leadership — on climate change, for example — but today’s crop of issues has prompted a different reflex.

“This is certainly farewell to the Germany of Kohl, which was, at the end of the day, ready to pay with a check for stability within the E.U.,” Mr. Fritz-Vannahme said.

Fearing that any bailout of Greece could break German constitutional or domestic law — and cost Berlin billions of euros — German support for any emergency mechanism is contingent on others meeting its tough terms.

Those terms include a statement that intervention would be a last resort, that the International Monetary Fund would be involved and that there will be new rules to prevent any repeat of the crisis.

One E.U. diplomat, who was not authorized to speak publicly, asserted: “The Germans are saying, ‘We have had 10 years of the euro. What has happened is proof that this is not working.”

COMMENTAIRE DE DIVERITY
VIVE VERHOFSTADT L’EUROPEEN COSMOPOLITE
Guy Verhofstadt le Gantois toscan a encore raison. Il accuse Merckel de saborder l’Europe avec ses velléités nationalistes et purement électoralistes de ne pas vouloir aider la Grèce à surmonter ses problèmes de déséquilibre budgétaire.Il a raison une fois encore.
Notre Guy national se révèle un Européen aussi passionné et passionnant que le flamboyant Cohn-Bendit. Comment ne pas l’aimer dans sa belle et généreuse posture européaniste et cosmopolite ?

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