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Germany leads the EU

Al.

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Germany rules the EU

Even the editors at the Washington Post acknowledge that...(late edit: the paper missed the fact that it's actually de jure instead of de facto)
Europe's quiet leader

By Anne Applebaum
Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Did you know that there were elections in Germany a month ago? Were you aware that the German Socialists were soundly defeated? Had you realized that there was now a new government in Germany? No? Then give credit — both for the victory and the fact that you haven't heard about it — to Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany. ...

... (P)artly by default and partly by design, Merkel is now the de facto leader of Europe. Over in Britain, Gordon Brown's Labour Party is immolating itself. Over in France, President Nicolas Sarkozy's attention-deficit issues propel him from one project to the next, to the irritation of everybody. The Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, is under endless investigation, and everyone else is too small or too preoccupied to compete. Even when the European Union chooses its next president later this year, he (and it almost certainly will be a he) will find it extremely difficult to do anything that contradicts the wishes of Merkel, who regularly tops lists of the world's most powerful women.

In fact, the more I watch her, the more I am convinced that her femaleness holds the key to her success. Under her watch, Germany has continued to grow more powerful, more influential, more dominant than ever before. Yet not only has no one noticed, they applaud and ask for more. ...

If, in the coming months, she wants a bigger, louder role outside Germany, Merkel can probably have that, too. I'm not sure, though, that "big and loud" is quite her style. It's equally possible that she will take over European foreign policy — but so quietly and so politely that no one will notice.
 
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Ah Well

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Even the editors at the Washington Post acknowledge that...
Consider the EU to be a Bus ....

Germany & France are co-drivers steering it
The UK is hanging off the back bumper precariously
And the rest are Passengers looking out the windows .... some up the front and some down the back where the hard chaws always sit
 

ibis

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In other news, Germany is the largest economy in Europe, and would be a dominant country in any Europe that didn't include breaking it up into bits.

In any Europe without the EU, small countries like Ireland wouldn't actually be on the bus - we'd be standing by the roadside hoping to sell a couple of eggs while our daughters flashed their goods at the (compared to us) wealthy passengers. Nostalgie de la boue, people.
 

Ah Well

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In other news, Germany is the largest economy in Europe, and would be a dominant country in any Europe that didn't include breaking it up into bits.

In any Europe without the EU, small countries like Ireland wouldn't actually be on the bus - we'd be standing by the roadside hoping to sell a couple of eggs while our daughters flashed their goods at the (compared to us) wealthy passengers. Nostalgie de la boue, people.
Ah, but we do have the EU and we are on the Bus .. .tho prob sitting up the very front holding onto our Bus Ticket and looking all innocent like good non descript 1st year Secondary Students :D
 

ibis

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Ah, but we do have the EU and we are on the Bus .. .tho prob sitting up the very front holding onto our Bus Ticket and looking all innocent like good non descript 1st year Secondary Students :D
Or possibly down the back throwing up our nagan...
 

Panopticon

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I would rather have the Germans exercising foreign policy leadership in the EU than the British, French or Italians. They take principled stances on issues and avoid colonial or attention-seeking expansionism.
 

Al.

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Consider the EU to be a Bus ....Germany & France are co-drivers steering it
Germany's always been the driver. France is the conductor, or maybe the inspector, but never the driver.
In any Europe without the EU, small countries like Ireland wouldn't actually be on the bus
Maybe it's the wrong bus. The Celtic Tiger came to be without riding that bus, but by getting on that bus, the tiger lost its stripes and now the Eagle (as in Adler) is picking at its bones.

As for the latter part of that post, very demeaning. Is that what you think of yourself?
I would rather have the Germans exercising foreign policy leadership in the EU than the British, French or Italians. They take principled stances on issues and avoid colonial or attention-seeking expansionism
?? You have that completely backwards. Germany's the most colonial and expansionist of any country in the EU. As I mentioned in the thread about zu Guttenberg, Germany's been entrenched in Afghanistan since the 1920s; they're also deeply entrenched in Africa, e.g. Rwanda and parts of the former Zaïre. They're also behind the Tibet and Xinjiang uprisings, as well as many upheavals in South America. They were the cause of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, which resulted in the EU taking on big chunks of the Balkans (and if that doesn't sound like a repeat of history, I don't know what does).
 
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Panopticon

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You have that completely backwards. Germany's the most colonial and expansionist of any country in the EU. As I mentioned in the thread about zu Guttenberg, Germany's been entrenched in Afghanistan since the 1920s; they're also deeply entrenched in Africa, e.g. Rwanda and parts of the former Zaïre. They're also behind the Tibet and Xinjiang uprisings, as well as many upheavals in South America. They were the cause of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, which resulted in the EU taking on big chunks of the Balkans (and if that doesn't sound like a repeat of history, I don't know what does).
Do you have any sources for that screed, which appears to my unenlightened eyes to be paranoid nonsense?
 

PaddyJoe McGillycuddy

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Do you think that possibly there is a dawning realisation in the US that maybe Germany has got it right over the last decade or so?
See the piece by Paul Krugman in today's NYT:
Consider, for a moment, a tale of two countries. Both have suffered a severe recession and lost jobs as a result — but not on the same scale. In Country A, employment has fallen more than 5 percent, and the unemployment rate has more than doubled. In Country B, employment has fallen only half a percent, and unemployment is only slightly higher than it was before the crisis. Don’t you think Country A might have something to learn from Country B?

This story isn’t hypothetical. Country A is the United States, where stocks are up, G.D.P. is rising, but the terrible employment situation just keeps getting worse. Country B is Germany,
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/13/opinion/13krugman.html?_r=1&hp
 

GreenBack

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I would rather have the Germans exercising foreign policy leadership in the EU than the British, French or Italians. They take principled stances on issues and avoid colonial or attention-seeking expansionism.
"attention-seeking expansionism" what the f@ck was WWII
 

GreenBack

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Something that ended over 60 years ago?
It may be an insignificant event to you, I suspect you're in the minority, but it's the foundation of the EU isn't it?

And Italy's recent examples of colonial or attention-seeking expansionism?
 

TommyO'Brien

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Germany's always been the driver. France is the conductor, or maybe the inspector, but never the driver.Maybe it's the wrong bus. The Celtic Tiger came to be without riding that bus, but by getting on that bus, the tiger lost its stripes and now the Eagle (as in Adler) is picking at its bones.

As for the latter part of that post, very demeaning. Is that what you think of yourself??? You have that completely backwards. Germany's the most colonial and expansionist of any country in the EU. As I mentioned in the thread about zu Guttenberg, Germany's been entrenched in Afghanistan since the 1920s; they're also deeply entrenched in Africa, e.g. Rwanda and parts of the former Zaïre. They're also behind the Tibet and Xinjiang uprisings, as well as many upheavals in South America. They were the cause of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, which resulted in the EU taking on big chunks of the Balkans (and if that doesn't sound like a repeat of history, I don't know what does).
If the EU is a bus, you are the drunk wino muttering nothings to himself at the back.
 

ibis

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It may be an insignificant event to you, I suspect you're in the minority, but it's the foundation of the EU isn't it?
The end of it, yes, and the prevention of a repeat - and indeed Germany's guilt, to some extent. Two generations, however, is two generations, and Germany is, as far as I'm aware, neither under the control of a Kaiser or a reckless dictator. That Germany is Europe's biggest economy - and that the Deutschmark was Europe's most important currency - are unavoidable facts.

And Italy's recent examples of colonial or attention-seeking expansionism?
The American-dominated post-war structure is breaking down, as was bound to happen once the collapse of the USSR meant that Europe and Japan need no longer be US protectorates - and that means the re-emergence of the European powers as global players. Given the US' recent behaviour, I have a certain amount of difficulty agreeing that that's such a terrible thing - although, as I've said before, I'd rather the European countries agreed on the exercise of soft power through the EU than hard power through emulating the US' theatrical militarism.
 

GreenBack

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The end of it, yes, and the prevention of a repeat - and indeed Germany's guilt, to some extent. Two generations, however, is two generations, and Germany is, as far as I'm aware, neither under the control of a Kaiser or a reckless dictator. That Germany is Europe's biggest economy - and that the Deutschmark was Europe's most important currency - are unavoidable facts.



The American-dominated post-war structure is breaking down, as was bound to happen once the collapse of the USSR meant that Europe and Japan need no longer be US protectorates - and that means the re-emergence of the European powers as global players. Given the US' recent behaviour, I have a certain amount of difficulty agreeing that that's such a terrible thing - although, as I've said before, I'd rather the European countries agreed on the exercise of soft power through the EU than hard power through emulating the US' theatrical militarism.
On your first point, you are right of course, there's no Kaiser or dictator in German.
So you'd be happy to see the end to American's hegonomy - who wouldn't. But you dont mind if it's replaced by Italy, Frances or Britain's colonial or attention-seeking expansionism. Doesn't sound too soft to me.
 

hiding behind a poster

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It may be an insignificant event to you, I suspect you're in the minority, but it's the foundation of the EU isn't it?
He didn't say WW2 was insignificant. He said it happened over 60 years ago.
 

hiding behind a poster

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On your first point, you are right of course, there's no Kaiser or dictator in German.
So you'd be happy to see the end to American's hegonomy - who wouldn't.
Well surely that depends on what American hegemony is replaced with?
 

ibis

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On your first point, you are right of course, there's no Kaiser or dictator in German.
So you'd be happy to see the end to American's hegonomy - who wouldn't. But you dont mind if it's replaced by Italy, Frances or Britain's colonial or attention-seeking expansionism. Doesn't sound too soft to me.
Maybe, maybe not - I don't think the public appetite for colonialism exists in the European countries to a sufficient degree to sustain such adventurism in any overt way, and it's hard these days to control the flow of information to a sufficient extent except where, as in Iraq, conditions are too dangerous for reportage.

Having said that, this is an instructive little map:



Those purple bits in Africa are countries whose currencies were pegged to the franc, and which are now pegged to the euro...
 

GreenBack

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He didn't say WW2 was insignificant. He said it happened over 60 years ago.
I know.
It was the implication, something that occurred 60 years ago. Which is significant given that he replied to my origonal post referring to the 'colonial or attention-seeking expansionism' comment.
He too accepted that it was at least partly responsible for the foundation of the EU.

What is it replaced with, if it is replaced? 'Soft power' or this 'colonial or attention-seeking expansionism' which Germany is apparently not guilty of?
 


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