The Phaserl


Will Angela Merkel have to choose between Germany and Europe?

As Angela Merkel faces elections, voices from both Left and Right are calling for an end to the euro. Jeevan Vasagar reports from Berlin.

by Jeevan Vasagar, The Telegraph:

In the heart of Berlin’s prime shopping district sits the ruined spire of the Gedächtniskirche, the church built by Kaiser Wilhelm II and shattered by Allied bombing in 1943. Left standing as a memorial to Europe’s last disintegration, it is a constant reminder of why Germans cherish European unity, and why they fear a continent of competing nations.

But as the quarrelling voices in the eurozone grow louder, Germany once again finds itself at the centre of conflict. From Italy, where voters have resoundingly rejected austerity measures, to Greece and Cyprus, where Angela Merkel has been caricatured as a Nazi, to Paris, where members of François Hollande’s party accuse the German chancellor of “selfish intransigence”, the project intended to bring Europe together has been stirring up animosity.

The latest voice to join the chorus is that of Oskar Lafontaine, who served as Germany’s finance minister when the euro was first introduced. He has called for the single currency to be broken up to help southern Europe recover. “Germans have not yet recognised that southern Europeans, including France, will sooner or later be forced by their current misery to put up a fight against German hegemony,” he warned.

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