A “Euro-Germanic” chauvinism

by Rui Paz

From Avante! (Lisbon), 2 December 2011


Portugal has borne the full brunt of the EU austerity machine.
     Workers fought back in 2011 with a series of general and sectoral mass strikes.
     Referring to the ease with which the German government imposes more and more its own interests on other countries in the European Union, Volker Kauder, secretary-general of Angela Merkel’s party, stated during its congress in Leipzig: “Europe is now speaking German.”
     A wave of Euro-Germanic chauvinism is being instigated by the leader of the political class in Germany.
     Countries indebted and ruined by speculators are being stigmatised by Christian Democratic governmental circles as “deficit sinners.”
     Not even the most faithful friends tolerate opinions not previously authorised by Berlin, as recently occurred when the German chancellor classified the proposal of the president of the European Commission (José Manuel Durão Barroso, a Portuguese bourgeois politician) as “fortuitous and unsuitable,” and ZDF, the German television network, reported during its prime-time news that Durão Barroso “was screwy.”
     The truth is that the European Union has changed into a permanent martial law zone, in which economic power rules democracy, imposing non-elected and illegitimate governments directly controlled by Berlin, as in Greece and Italy. The EU adjusts matters by means of anti-national leaders who do other than what has been promised during election campaigns, thereby deceiving the peoples and the voters. Finally, the EU prepares changes to the treaties now in force, which definitely withdraw sovereign rights from the states that do not submit.
     But this whole state of affairs was predictable. It would have been enough to follow attentively both the geo-strategic documents and statements of the most relevant political figures in the last twenty years.
     Germany’s ambition to dominate Europe did not arise today. In 1990, just after the so-called “unification,” Klaus Kinkel, the minister for foreign affairs, stated that “now we must achieve what we failed to do twice” (i.e. with the two world wars). Since the beginning of the nineties, Berlin has understood the EU project as an indispensable instrument for relaunching another attempt to dominate the whole continent.
     Hans-Peter Schwarz, counsellor to the Christian-Democrat chancellor Helmut Kohl, on approaching the issue of “the European central power,” said in 1994 that “only one state exists that, owing to its geographical position, economic capacity, and cultural influence, has the capacity to presume to be a European central power—that is, Germany.”
     In 2000, Joschka Fischer (Green Party), former minister for foreign affairs, stated during a conference in Berlin where he presented his ideas on the EU’s goals that, “considering its area, economic strength and geographical situation, Germany has the right to practise a soft hegemony over Europe, that is, without the use of strategic military force.”
     The idea that Germany must dominate Europe, owing to its geographical position, economic strength, population, etc., is permanent in German leaders' political speeches. The Eurofederalist-dominated elites within the dependent countries have permanently concealed this.
     The principles contained in the EU’s treaties—from the Treaty of Maastricht and the Treaty of Nice to the Lisbon Treaty—are all in that same direction. Even now, as one can see, the cry for “more Europe,” the deepening of federalism or even the revision of the treaties, means more power for the great powers’ directorate, more German hegemony, more anti-democratic power for big capital, more challenges to social, labour and cultural rights, and an ever more forceful strangulation of the people’s sovereign will.

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