The Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association

Germany at the Helm of Europe

We’ve seen a lot of twists and turns along the timeline of the integration of Europe. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the unification of Germany we’ve seen the introduction of the euro as Europe’s common currency and the swelling of the European Union to include some 27 member nations.

The global economic crisis, fueled in part by the rest of the world’s exposure to the American housing market debacle, combined with reckless spending and unsustainable socialist policies bankrupted Greece, disrupted France, hobbled Spain and threatened the very survival of the euro.

Based upon the historical record and what we’ve expected in prophetic terms, it seemed unlikely that Germany would be dragged down to the weakened condition that now afflicts much of the rest of Europe. And sure enough, as the excerpts below illustrate Germany has managed to avoid some of the worst economic mistakes committed by its EU partners. Further, as segments quoted from the Economist illustrate, Germany has been unwilling to underwrite bailouts on a scale that would undermine its own economic stability.

This leads to a very interesting dynamic now, where Europe needs Germany’s stability and leadership but also “fears its pre-eminence” as the Economist so aptly put it, for obvious historical reasons.

While political correctness has acquired full blown sacred cow status in the U.S., there is evidence that reality is beginning get some traction in Europe. Few probably missed the shocking statement that Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel made recently, “Multiculturalism has been an absolute failure.” And that statement comes alongside recent survey results showing that one third of Germans believe their country is “overrun by foreigners” and a majority would like to see Muslim religious practice “sharply restricted.”

These sentiments are a far cry from the ideology that created the messy immigrant situation in Europe, and a further cry from anything that would be regarded as acceptable in our current climate here in the U.S. But here’s where it gets dicey. According to a recent survey some thirteen percent of Germans would “welcome a Fuehrer who would govern with ‘a strong hand’. “ While the other nations of Europe need Germany’s leadership and help, it’s no wonder they worry about attitudes that recent surveys reveal are rapidly gaining popularity there. Germany’s consolidated economic and political strength combined with growing public disgust over the behavior of the immigrant population is more than enough to fuel speculation, given Germany’s history.

Below are excerpts from a current issue of The Economist that illustrate points made above, but we would certainly recommend the article in its entirety.

Excerpts from a current article in The Economist under the heading:
Germany’s role in the world, the headline:
Will Germany now take Center Stage?
and the subhead,
Its economy is booming, but its strength poses new questions

(Taken from late in the article)
And so Germany’s partners are likely to remain on edge. The EU needs Germany’s leadership more than ever, but fears its pre-eminence. Europe also needs consensus, but will not get it unless the Germans foster it. Matters will be even worse if Germany’s economic self-confidence comes across as political arrogance.

Despite their economic strength, Germans fear the worst. They believe their country “has passed its zenith”, says Mrs. Kocher, the pollster. This pessimism shapes Germany’s dealings with the rest of the world. Unlike most countries, Germany is not driven by any great ambition, but rather by the fear that “things could fall apart if they don’t hold on to stability…”

This year’s euro crisis brought out both the apprehension and the arrogance. With Greece’s near default, the promise that the euro would be as stable as the Deutschmark suddenly looked like the lie Germans had always suspected it to be. As the crisis mounted Mrs. Merkel delayed giving German backing to the inevitable rescue for wobbly euro countries. A €750 billion ($920 billion) package was eventually agreed on after a hectic weekend of negotiation in May. To Germans, this looked like the start of the dreaded “transfer union”, a bottomless commitment to subsidize Greeks’ early retirement, fix an Italian budget tattered by tax evasion and clear up after Spain’s burst property bubble. “Sell your islands, you bankrupt Greeks. And the Acropolis while you’re at it,” demanded Bild, a popular tabloid. Mrs. Merkel played to the gallery by suggesting that persistent euro sinners should be thrown out of the group.

These unEuropean outbursts startled not just Greeks, who brandished swastikas in response, but Europeans generally. They had grown up believing that the Germans saw their own interests as inseparable from those of their fellow Europeans. Now they glimpsed a different, ugly German, smug about his economy and untroubled by his past. Some pundits argue that Germany’s brutality to Greece during the second world war should have tempered its irritation with the Greeks.

The crisis has created a new pecking order, at least temporarily. Germany, with its high-competitiveness, low-debt economy, is on top. The rest are having to adjust, including France, traditionally a joint leader of the European project. This is unsettling. “You get an enormous sense of German self-righteousness, which is very difficult to take, especially when there are solid foundations for it,” says François Heisbourg of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. France, which has lagged behind Germany in making structural reforms, feels its influence waning. “France has to do its homework to be able to restore some level of influence in Europe,” says Jean-Pierre Jouyet, a former French minister for Europe, now head of France’s financial regulatory authority.

During economic crises her first instinct has been to double the guard around the German treasury.

But Franco-German ambitions for Europe have sputtered. German standoffishness toward the EU is now based in law: a 2009 ruling by Germany’s Constitutional Court allowed it to ratify the Lisbon treaty but limited further transfers of power to Brussels.


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Further reading:
Our Commentary
Europe’s Impending Calamity –by Michael Burkert 
Multiculturalism Fails in Germany –by Michael Burkert
Postponing Economic Meltdown in Germany –by Michael Burkert 
Is Germany the Next Target of Terrorism?  –by Michael Burkert
Europe and the Coming State Religion –by Michael Burkert 
Europe's Tolerance May Soon End   –by Michael Burkert
European Islam Shows Its Teeth
! –by Michael Burkert

Will the European Union Achieve SUPERPOWER Status?  –by Chris Cumming
EuroArmy – For Peace or War?  
   –by Chris Cumming
Twenty-First Century Crusades?   –by Chris Cumming

Ugly Anti-Americanism In France And Germany - Where Will It Lead?  
by Garner Ted Armstrong
How The War In Iraq Will Help The Beast To Rise Up In Europe by Garner Ted Armstrong
New European Army To Be Formed Soon!   –by Garner Ted Armstrong 
21st Century Watch
Germany and the EU; New Power Brokers on the World Scene?
Germany Pushes Toward Single European State
Internal and External Threats to Shape German's Future
Quote by Garner Ted Armstrong:
"Perhaps there is not the slightest clue, or dream, in the heart of a single German politician, or general or admiral that a United States of Europe, led by GERMANY could ever actually CONQUER the United States! Perhaps the mood today is merely a desire to be a balancing power, to be as they have expressed, a “deterrent” to the United States. But what is afoot is nothing short of another “COLD WAR” – THIS TIME BETWEEN EUROPE AND THE UNITED STATES!"  -stated and published 30 April 2003
German National Anthem German & English lyrics

Left: Current EU map
Center: Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel
Right: Coat of arms for Germany