Die Zeit, 20 October 2009

Why so selfish, Germany?

Published on 20 October 2009 at 12:29
Die Zeit, 20 October 2009


A headline in Die Zeit reads that "Germany is being too egocentric, too arrogant" when it comes to Europe. According to the German weekly, many doubt the depth of Berlin's commitment to Europe. Starting with New York Times columnist Roger Cohen, who believes that "Germany has become more nationalistic". He goes on to remark that "its relations with the European Union, once prized as the solution to the post-war agony of German identity" are "now treated with all the emotion of a bookkeeper going over accounts". Meanwhile Charles Grant, director of the London-based think tank Center for European Reform (CER), bemoans the fact that when it comes to its own interests "Germany is behaving ever more like France and Great Britain". An analysis echoed by Die Zeit: "Integrating Europe was not a priority of the outgoing Christian-Democrat and Social-Democrat coalition. Faced with the economic crisis, Berlin is relying more on national solutions, while German representatives in Brussels showed no generosity. The era when the interests of Europe took precedent over those of Germany are well and truly over", concludes the paper.

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