Saturday, December 3, 2011

Rise of the 5th Reich?

A few days ago, I had noted that what is bandied about to solve the Euro crises is to create a European federal government--essentially a greater Germany. Wiser heads than mine have arrived at the same conclusion. From the Small Wars Journal, is an article musing about the Euro crises being used to create a German hegemony:
One thing is sure: in 2011, for the third time since the reunification of 1989, Germany is trying to force down the throat of Europe a federal political union which, for too many Europeans, eerily resembles a gentler, kinder Anschluss.

The first attempt at a federal Europe was put forward in 1994 by Christian Democrat heavyweight Wolfgang Schauble, then heir-apparent to Chancellor Helmut Kohl. Needless to say, the French were not amused at the prospect of the former Grande Nation becoming some sort of maritime Bavaria in a Euro-German Reich, and successfully managed to push back.

The second attempt began in 1999, around the time of the launching of the Euro and the constitutional convention, with Social-Democrat Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Green Foreign Minister Joshka Fischer pushing for a “maximalist” federal Europe along the lines of the German constitution. Since the constitutional convention which opened in 2001 happened to be chaired by a former French president, the end result in 2004 fell short of German goals and, at any rate, this EU constitution was rejected in 2005 by the French and the Dutch in a referendum.

The third attempt today is once again the work of Wolfgang Schauble. Since Schauble had to resign as leader of the CDU in 2000 in the wake of a financial scandal, Angela Merkel took over the CDU and was elected Chancellor in 2005. But in October 2009, as the global economic crisis was already under way, Merkel appointed Schauble as Finance Minister (arguably the most strategically important ministry in this particular context) and, by March 2010, Schauble was once again campaigning for federal integration.

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