Has “German Europe” exhausted itself?

‘Nuevo Curso’ on the EU-summit of 28 – 29 June

» It was after four o’clock in the morning [on Friday, June 29] when the EU summit finally came to a conclusion document for a directive on migration. (1) The “principle” defended by Italy was enshrined: shipwrecked persons, migrants and refugees arrive, whatever their point of entry, in the EU and before the EU and not before the country of arrival, seeking refuge. The infamous Spanish model of the Detention Centers for Foreigners (2) is enshrined under the name of “platforms” and is possibly extended to Macedonia and Albania. Spain and the countries that organize the new detention centers will receive EU money. Macron stressed that the great success was that asylum had been “mutualized” and therefore has replied to the challenge posed by the German Home Secretary who was putting the German political apparatus in crisis and threatening to sweep Merkel along. (3)

The outcome was brought into light today: Merkel presented her pre-agreements with 14 EU countries – starting with Spain and Greece – to return undocumented migrants who arrived in Germany from them. (4) With both tools, the German Chancellor can already declare herself winner in her battle against the CSU. Operation “Save Merkel” has been a success.

It has been as success for Salvini as well. He has achieved its main objectives and has once again made Italy a central player with real negotiating power. As a result, the Lega has become Berlusconi’s true successor and its alliance with the 5 Star Movement has consolidated itself as the center of gravity of Italian politics.

And France?

The great fixer of all this costly balancing act, Macron, was greeted as a triumphant Caesar by the German press… (5) and yet was received with a twisted gesture by the newspapers of the Mediterranean countries and of France itself. The reason: the main issue for the whole South is the reform of the euro, but this summit has kicked the can down the road, forestalling the discussion of the concrete measures proposed by Macron and supported by Merkel until December. The Portuguese, for example, fear that it will then be too late.

The French bourgeoisie and even Macron personally can only feel deceived. They have played everything they had in the sprint to the pre-summit (6) and the summit to save Merkel and have apparently succeeded. But they haven’t made an inch of progress on their own targets. In pain, they send a signal to Germany: they will not wait indefinitely. That is why they are now uncovering that Trump offered Macron a privileged trade agreement for France if he left the EU. (7)

Germany as a dead weight

At this stage the power of the Franco-German axis within the EU itself is seriously eroded. Twelve countries have already spoken out openly against France’s agonizing attempts to re-balance the euro. Of course, the Visegrad countries are among them, but in the vanguard is an axis of “Nordist” countries with the Netherlands at its head, traditionally tied to Great Britain and the United States. (8)

But above all there is the very fracture of the German bourgeoisie and the identity madness of its petty bourgeoisie. Independently of other elements that we have already discussed in previous articles, there is a reflection on the role and limits of the ideology festered by the state. “Nordism” was originally an ideological construct designed to cover up the predatory and imperialist character of the euro architecture. It painted the Germans and other exporting countries of the North as “ants” and the countries of the South and East as “cicadas” who would not “learn” without suffering the full burden of their debts. Germans, Dutch, Swedes and other “virtuous countries” paid “too much” for a Europe that remembered them only when asking for help in bad times. Despite the extremely crude nature of this discourse, it was the main ideological argument of German Finance Minister Schäuble and the president of the Euro-group, the Dutchman Dijsselbloem, for isolating Greece and subjecting it to an exemplary protectorate. After years and years of obscene bombardment, the German, Dutch and Danish petty bourgeoisie have made it their own. The problem is that now, especially in Germany, it is already dysfunctional for the imperialist interests of the bourgeoisie. The German press is now working hard to correct this. It explains that the cost of sustaining the EU is ridiculous for Germany – 0.3% of GDP – compared to having captive and secure markets in 26 developed countries; (9) that in the world and even in neighboring France there are ever more “Le Pens” and “Trumps” who would want to put custom tariffs on Volkswagens, and that the “Greek crisis” provided billions of marks to German accounts, while Schäuble had shouted that they would have to pay back every cent of it as soon as possible, even if it meant closing Greek clinics.

As if this were not enough, the United States is playing ever more openly on isolating Germany, strengthening the identity drift of the continental petty bourgeoisie and subjecting Europe to its own contradictions. A final blow: Trump reminds Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Luxembourg and the Netherlands that they must contribute more resources to NATO and threatens Germany to immediately abandon its military bases in Germany (35,000 troops). Of course Europeans would be happy to emancipate themselves from US military tutelage… but it is one thing to build a thousand rapid intervention forces and a nuclear coordination with Britain, and another to multiply the costs overnight. Trump is very cleverly pointing the finger at several sores at the same time: the posing as budgetary victims in the ‘Nordist’ discourse, the European incapacity to establish an alternative military alliance, and the rigidity of public spending imposed by the German design of the euro.

And to round off, the German “backyard” has an ever-increasing Chinese presence. ‘Excusatio non petita, accusatio manifesta’, Asian diplomacy asserts that its expansion into Eastern and Central Europe does not seek to undermine the EU. But the Asian giant goes much further. Chinese capital now accounts for more than 60% of foreign investment in Portugal and is Greece’s very important second largest partner.

The USA seems to be consolidating advantages over its rivals and China is adapting at full speed while still putting sticks in the American wheels. (10) But since the French urgency, Germany more and more appears as a dead weight, unable to advance towards the construction of its own imperialist bloc. (11) From the viewpoint of the captains of the centrifugal forces within Europe itself, the EU has become a building in demolition. Salvini blatantly declares to ‘Der Spiegel’ that within one year, we will see if united Europe still exists or if it doesn’t.” (12) The next recession can already be smelled in the air. Time is running out for Merkel and Macron. «

Source: Nuevo Curso, June 30, 2019: ¿Se agota la «europa alemana»? https://nuevocurso.org/se-agota-la-europa-alemana/

Translation: H.C. July 5, 2018


1  See: European Council, 28-29/06/2018 – Main results, http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/european-council/2018/06/28-29/

2 Centros de Internamiento de Extranjeros (CIE)

3 ‘Nuevo Curso’, The political crisis in Germany and the tortuous road to a “European bloc” (June 25, 2018): https://afreeretriever.wordpress.com/2018/06/28/the-political-crisis-in-germany/

4  ‘Die Welt, This is how Angela Merkel wants to get more order in migration policies (June 30, 2018): https://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article178515666/So-will-Angela-Merkel-mehr-Ordnung-in-die-Migrationspolitik-bekommen.html (German)

5  ‘Der Spiegel’, Emmanuel Macron at the EU summit: The mission “save Merkel” (June 30, 2018): http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/emmanuel-macron-beim-eu-gipfel-mission-merkel-rettung-a-1215873.html (German)

6  See note 2).

7  ‘France 24’, When Trump proposed Macron to leave the European Union (June 29, 2018): http://www.france24.com/fr/20180629-trump-propose-macron-quitter-union-europeenne-accords-commerciaux (French)

8  ‘Nuevo Curso’, The blocks at war under the European Union (March 6, 2018): https://afreeretriever.wordpress.com/2018/03/31/nuevo-curso-on-the-trade-war/

9  ‘Der Spiegel’, Common Euro-budget: The fairy tale of the German paymaster (June 29, 2018): http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/soziales/warum-die-angst-vorm-euro-budget-unbegruendet-ist-kolumne-a-1215496.html (German)

10 ‘Al Jazeera, North Korea upped uranium enrichment in recent months: US report (June 30, 2018): https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/06/north-korea-upped-uranium-enrichment-months-report-180630060140970.html

11  ‘Nuevo Curso’: Is an anti-US bloc emerging around Germany? (AFRD Vol.2 #3, May 31, 2018)

12  Der Spiegel’, Interview with Italian Interior Minister Salvini (June 27, 2018): http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/interview-with-italian-interior-minister-salvini-a-1215157.html (English)