EU-United States

“European” — a dirty word in Washington

Published on 6 June 2012 at 12:49

“The economy has opened up a faultline in the Atlantic,” announces La Stampa, reporting on the impact of recent remarks by Barack Obama which imply that the poor management of the Eurozone crisis is to blame for the feeble outlook for growth in the US. “The urgency and frequency of President Obama’s drive to shake up Europeans is determined by immediate and more long-term reasons,” remarks the Turin daily. The former are linked to the US elections in November: now that Mitt Romney is almost certain to receive the Republican nomination, the campaigns, which are already in full swing, have been marked by the use of “Europe” as a dirty word deployed by candidates to discredit their adversaries, notes La Stampa.

At the outset of the presidential campaign, it was the Republicans who brandished the spectre of Europe to scare voters and undermine Obama […]. But now the tables have turned, and the Democrats are accusing their adversaries of being ‘European’, because the Republican Party is advocating the same Teutonic austerity that has condemned the Eurozone to recession and unemployment.

From a more long-term perspective, Obama’s criticism has focused on the issue of transatlantic relations, most notably with Berlin —

For years, Washington considered Germany to be its most faithful ally. […] But today, Germany’s response to the crisis — which lacks the boldness to follow a ‘grand plan’ but is nonetheless sufficiently stubborn to undermine the basis of the Western alliance — could result in much more lasting damage than deep divisions over Iraq and Afghanistan.

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