Thursday, March 14, 2013

"Could Germany Spark Another War?"

An op-ed published at the Daily Mail. The author's title is somewhat misleading. What he is warning about is that the austerity measures being demanded by Germany, in exchange for Germany bailing out the PIGGS, is creating discontent and resentment against Germany by those very same nations. The author writes:
This week, the faultlines that run ever deeper across the Continent were the subject of an extraordinary speech by a long-time president of the European Council, who insisted there are indeed chilling parallels between 2013 and the eve of World War I a century ago.
Jean Claude Juncker said that resentment against Germany is running high because its imposition of austerity — in a bid to shore up the euro — has exposed long-running tensions between nations.
‘The demons haven’t been banished; they are merely sleeping,’ he warned, adding that ‘anyone who believes the eternal issue of war and peace in Europe has been permanently laid to rest could be making a monumental error’.
Perhaps a decade ago he would have been dismissed as a scaremonger. But today, the political mood is shifting across Europe more dramatically than for many years. As the legendary American investor George Soros said last year, if the German Chancellor Angela Merkel continued in her economic demands on the rest of Europe, ‘the result will be a Europe in which Germany is seen as an imperial power that will not be loved or admired by the rest, but hated and resisted, because it will be perceived as an oppressive power.’
The Left-leaning magazine the New Statesman simply labelled Merkel ‘the most dangerous German leader since Hitler’. The language may seem inflammatory, but ever more citizens in the Mediterranean countries of the eurozone in particular argue that for the third time in less than 100 years Germany is trying to take control of Europe.
Of course, the Germans would say they’re simply trying to maintain economic stability in nations which for years spent far beyond their means.

But if they continue to impose brutal economic strictures on Europe’s peoples, the consequences in terms of social alienation, international disputes and the rise of political extremism could be dramatic.
Already we have seen bloody protests against the German economic yoke in Athens, Rome and Madrid.

It is a situation tailor-made for ultra-nationalist, Right-wing parties such as Golden Dawn in Greece, which is acting with increasing violence and impunity against foreigners with every passing week.

At the heart of the crisis is the great euro project, an economic regime created in hubris — but now threatened with ruinous collapse.
As the saying goes, "no good deed goes unpunished." Southern Europe doesn't see Germany's actions as a benefice anymore than a spoiled child appreciates a parent's sacrifice. But, as with a spoiled child, who is to blame? The child or the parent that spoiled the child? As others have suggested, the most practical route would be to either kick the PIGGS out of the Euro, or for Germany and the other Northern European nations to themselves withdraw from the Euro.

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