Merckel, Germany and the future of Europe
Angela Merckel recently won the election again in Germany. Thus enters the fourth mandate the Chancellor who is so respected and feared in Europe. For some it represents European values at its height, for others it represents a democratic but at the same time threatening Germany.
In my opinion she represents the typical politician who is not up to the events that surround her. The politician who is endowed with an aura of respectability at the same time as only thinking about the pettiness of some votes. As Chancellor of Germany she has to deal with the different internal pressures while trying to strengthen an entire continent. At the same time that intends to lead a continent she has to prove that the historical threat of a strong Germany no longer exists.
Politically Germany dominates Europe. The alternatives are the classic English geographic and political isolationism or the French moral and strategic irrelevance. The ridiculous English and French political acceptance without any criticism to the speeches of the Chancellor when speaking against or in favor of Multiculturalism indicate only that there is no competition for the leadership of the European project.
Geography and history
Germany is too big for Europe but without it it is ridiculous insignificant. This is the great historical dilemma of the Germans: to be world-relevant they need their weak neighbors who form the European plaque.
Historically, throughout the twentieth century, Germany has learned that the military way is not effective in communicating with its European neighbors. But at the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first century, Germany showed that she has not yet learned to communicate with them.
If Europe were a car, Germany would be an engine and its neighbors the remaining parts. It’s no use having a state-of-the-art V8 engine in a 40’s body with bald tires from a 80’s mini.
The future of Europe passes through a strong Germany that serves as an engine but at the same time knows how to intervene in favor of its neighbors and help them to grow. At the same time, the weaker neighbors will have to be able to make the necessary reforms to adapt to the needs of a powerful engine. The economic crisis and the Greek crisis have shown that neither the neighbors are willing to grow nor Germany is willing to help much ….
As long as Germany does not become aware that it needs its weaker neighbors and at the same time that it leads it must know how to lead Europe through the vast cultural-historical tapestry that forms the European social fabric and accept some equality in debate and respect for other opinions will always walk to the falls.
The crisis that resolves with more crisis
The Greek crisis, the political and economic corruption of South Europe, the intentional blindness of rich country institutions in the face of the problems of the South, the economic aid with such high interest loans that make economic recovery a mirage prove the gap between political discourses and the current economic and social reality of Europe.
The European crisis is not Germany’s fault. The Greeks are mainly responsible for their crisis and no one obliges the Portuguese to constantly elect corrupt politicians and incompetent careerists.
The point here is that there has never been European leadership capable of imposing necessary structural reforms. Europe Leadership is quicker to accept new countries with dubious economic practices, to establish economically disadvantaged loans to poor countries, or to impose sanctions than to work towards structural reforms that generate greater economic and political transparency.
If instead of Schroeder’s Germany accepting the entry of Greece had stipulated the structural reforms necessary to belong to the European Union, hardly this crisis would have happened. The truth is that rich European countries benefit from the corruption of the poor: if on the one hand they get advantageous deals for their companies on the other, they earn on the interest of the loans they make to the poor so that they can pay the bad debts to their rich neighbors.
Instead of a political project, Europe must become a social project. What is really lacking in Europe is the social component as was clear in the Greek crisis. As European leader Angela Merckel has played an important role in debt relief … after having advised the Greeks to sell their islands, to have promoted recrimination among peoples and to have hidden behind their minister of economy so as not to be related to all the provocations made. The International Monetary Fund has been more humane and logical in the proposals for resolving the crisis than the main European partners … especially Merckel Germany.
Nuclear energy, Russia and Eastern countries
The abandonment of nuclear energy by Germany, after Fukushima was just another proof of the Chancellor’s lack of nerves regarding controversial cases.
After the accident in Fukushima, Angela Merckel decided to stop betting on nuclear energy: the cleanest, safest and most profitable form of energy that exists.
Instead it invested in projects to increase its dependence on Russian gas, at a time when Russia is increasingly aggressive towards its European neighbors. The construction of the north stream II gas pipeline may be good for Germany but weakens the energy independence of Eastern countries that are more dependent on Russian gas (the US has started selling gas to these countries recently). The cheaper energy that the Germans will pay will be offset by the rising prices East will suffer as well as the increased political and economic aggression that gazprom is willing to exert over its neighbors.
If Germany wants to lead Europe, it should never have abandoned nuclear energy, let alone invest in business with a country that is increasingly aggressive towards its European neighbors.
Germany should have invested in joint projects with Eastern countries to build nuclear reactors that increase European energy competitiveness, should have stimulated the creation and exploitation of southern European gas and if it had done any business with Russia it should have done so safeguarding the interests of its Eastern neighbors.
The Germans want to stop nuclear power in their country but they want the other Europeans to pay the price.
Immigration and human rights
In 2010 Angela Merckel stated that multiculturalism was dead. After this she continued to support a moral relativism characterized by a constant attack on European values, she kept the politically correct speech in favor of Islam at the same time as social malaise was increasing, opened the borders indiscriminately launching Europe in the greatest social crisis so far and with the need for votes, she spoke again in defense of European values and the expulsion of some immigrants. 7 years of total absence of coherent political line.
The acceptance of the great mass of immigrants without knowing how to protect European borders. Instead of following the example of Australia, it decided to open the doors without even knowing the opinion of its neighbors and imposing quotas on them. It has aggravated the European problem of not knowing how to define external borders and has maintained Europe’s political hypocrisy of human rights: to accept immigrants because they are all victims in a way that only helped to enrich groups of human trafficking; to maintain a political discourse for the rights-based people while paying traffickers to stop trafficking and not to define a global policy that defends all European countries (southern European countries are most affected).
This helped to define an unprecedented crisis of European identity: instead of affirming European values, instead of beeing able to rank European values; instead of focusing on European values and realistic strategies to ensure a future for Europe, Germany is creating more problems that generate more doubts and sources of political and social tension: increased crime, increased Muslim sectarianism, increased terrorism.
In the end it almost destroyed the Shengen system for the first time (something only achieved by Islamic terrorists), created diplomatic and social crises with Eastern countries, accelerated Brexit and helped the growth of far right parties.
Germany’s biggest mistake has been its relationship with the eastern countries
It does not recognize the importance of the extreme right in their history, cultural identity and recent heroic mythology of these peoples. Neither their suffering at the hand of the different neighbors: Poland was invaded by Germany and abandoned to the Soviet Union; Ukraine suffered at the hands of the Soviets, then Germans, then the Soviets came back with more force and now they have been replaced by the Russians … Instead of granting them greater political, economic and energetic independence from Russia and not provoking social tensions by allowing greater social openness to political dialogue and at the same time by pulling on economic, political and social reforms that democratize these countries even more, it has done just the opposite. An extremely aggressive stance on the part of Russia has been underscored by profitable deals to Russia and Germany by increasing the geo-strategic weakness of these countries and then aggravated by political pressures to accept quotas of immigrants. The end result was the growing support of movements and political forces associated with the far right in these countries.
It was the Polish military and institutional weakness that victimized them at the hands of the Germans and Soviets. It was political and elitist corruption that weakened seventeenth-century Hungary to be conquered by the Ottomans or the twenty-first century Ukraine by being partially annexed by Russia. But it was also a strong Poland that saved Vienna from the Muslim conquest after the fall of Hungary. The political, social and military force of the Eastern countries is essential for the European future. The Chancellor has compromised this with results that can only be felt and understood by our descendants. These countries do not need to see Russian gas deals with Germany or impose quotas to accept immigrants from an anti-integration cultural background and European anti-values. They need someone who guarantees them the protection of their borders and respect for their culture. It was in this that Germany should have wagered at the same time that it demanded greater democratization.
Merckel’s Germany should be working towards a common energy market that would benefit Europe as a whole but instead bet on energy and political suicide with Russia.
It should have worked to obtain greater economic and political transparency of the member countries and the candidates, but instead allowed for normal business that, among other things, allowed Portugal to take on loans for roads that it did not need at the same time as it destroyed its fishing fleet and agriculture.
Merckel should not go into environmental anti-nuclear energy ravings but rather focus on research and construction of safer reactors and ensure a European energy policy that is capable of responding to the needs of the continental plate.
Europe needs to know how to define and defend its external borders, how to defend its values and how to set up common policies to meet future energy, political and economic challenges. And for this she needs leaders elected regionally but with insight and continental policies.
So far, among the ideas of the big statesman, Merckel has seemed more like a small politician who pretends to notice the big issues when she cares more about the small issues that guarantee her power.
But do not think that Germany is unnecessary or inimical to the European project. Germany is the engine of Europe. But it can not be Merckel’s Germany. It will have to be Bismarck’s Germany … Europe needs the leadership, wisdom and pragmatism of Otto Von Bismark. And that, only the Germans can give us.