Greece: Imperial Germany – eager to bury the euro

20 June 2011
To Vima Athens

In publishing the image of a Greek flag draped over the coffin of the single currency, Der Spiegel has revealed the hidden goal of German policies: German hegemony, argues Athenian daily To Vima.

Venus de Milo giving a one-finger salute [on the front page of the weekly Focus in 2010] was in poor taste. However, the cover of today’s Der Spiegel is more than just indecent, it also reveals the hidden intentions and objectives of German hegemony, not just for Greece but for all Europe.

In the wake of French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s unprecedented reining in of Angela Merkel and the pressure exerted by American President Barack Obama, this outrageous front page shows a Greek flag covering the coffin of the single currency.

Although it does not officially speak for Berlin, the magazine cover is revelatory of the sentiment that prevails among the section of the German ruling class, which reads the weekly news magazine: to wit, that Germany is opposed to further aid to Greece.

Among the “arguments” proposed by the article in Der Spiegel, is the so-called German truth that the economies of the eurozone, which implement different monetary and economic policies, are structurally different to the point where they cannot form a cohesive whole. According to the magazine, this situation now constitutes a serious risk for the euro and for Europe.

Nowhere does it say that the situation is not solely due to the Greek debt crisis. But in fact this is the case: the divergence between European economies has been largely caused by Germany’s desire to use the Greek crisis as a lever to prompt an overall rethink of the single currency.

Berlin has shown that it wants to distinguish itself through the implementation of a selfish nationalist policy that will break nations and states that are unable or unwilling to follow in its footsteps. Those who are unable to comply with German demands will have no place either in the eurozone or in Europe.

Germany is now losing the battle for hegemony in Europe

What is striking is that at the very moment when this is coming to a head, everything that to date had been the “official” line maintained by our creditors has been overturned by opposition to German policy voiced by an unexpected ally: Eurogroup President and the Prime Minister of Luxembourg Jean-Claude Juncker. In an interview with the Belgian daily La Libre Belgique, Juncker is clearly opposed to Berlin’s dominant line when he explains, among other things, that the threat of further destabilisation caused by the people rather than by the “markets” is now a reality, and no one can predict when or where it will end.

In the wake of pressure from the United States and France, Germany is now losing the battle for hegemony in Europe – a battle fought against the backdrop of  a devasting policy for Greece – and this is what disturbs Der Spiegel and its readers.

The fact is that the Germans wanted to put an end to the “nightmare” of countries that are unable to help them along their imperial path. Today they are  looking forward to the end of the euro, not because the single currency is out for the count, but because their plans for the euro have come unstuck.

Perhaps the only thing left for them to do is to leave the eurozone. And perhaps that is the new message behind this offensive magazine cover. The Der Speigel image shows the euro being buried under a Greek flag, but the black, yellow and red uniforms of the gravediggers are all too visible in Greece.

Factual or translation error? Tell us.