Posted by Jason O on Jun 12, 2012 in European Union
There is a scene in Oliver Stone’s “Nixon” (I know, I’m doing a lot of movie references of late, but bear with me) where Nixon, played by Anthony Hopkins, pays a late night visit to the Lincoln Memorial to speak with young anti-war protesters. As he tries to explain why he cannot just “end” the war in Vietnam, one of the students remarks that he is just as powerless as they are, and that he could not turn off the machine even if he wanted to.
Watching Angela Merkel refusing to move on Eurobonds, etc, I’m beginning to become very queasy with the thought that she is not the problem, but that she just knows that the German people, her employers, will not accept her following that path.
Germany is, after all, a democracy, and that causes a unique problem. The people will savage her if she makes Germany liable for the debts of Europe. Yet if she doesn’t, and the euro and European Single Market were to collapse, Germany will feel that pain just as much as any other country, and her people will blame her. Yet they will never believe in that pain, or support the massive action required to prevent it, until they have felt it, and by then it will probably be too late.
Angela can see the iceberg coming, and know that by turning to her side she could rip the whole ship apart. Yet if she rams it head on, she will save the ship but be hated by those who will never believe that it could have sunk in the first place, becoming the mad captain who rammed her own ship.