Jean Claude Juncker: Europe’s demons are only sleeping

EUROWARAuteur: Jeevan VasagarA senior European politician has made the extraordinary claim that resentment of Germany by the Mediterranean countries has “chilling” parallels with complacency in 1913 that led to the First World War.

Jean Claude Juncker, prime minister of Luxembourg, who chaired a group of Euro-zone finance ministers at the height of the financial crisis, claimed that elections in Italy and Greece brought “national resentments to the surface, which we’d believed had gone away”. He said that he had been appalled by protesters’ banners in Greece which showed Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, in Nazi uniform.

Mr Juncker said in an interview with the magazine Der Spiegel: “Anyone who believes that the eternal question of war and peace in Europe is no longer there risks being deeply mistaken.

“The demons have not gone away – they’re only sleeping, as the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo showed. I am struck by how much conditions in Europe in 2013 are similar those of 100 years ago.”

The way in which some political figures in Germany had been criticised in Greece has left “deep wounds” Mr Juncker said. He said the Italian election was also “excessively hostile to Germany and therefore anti-European”.

Resentment over austerity measures advocated by Germany spilled over into public anger when Mrs Merkel visited Athens last October. Some Greeks protesters burned a swastika flag while others dressed in Nazi uniforms.

During the Italian elections, Silvio Berlusconi blamed “German-centric” policies for Italy’s economic problems.

Mr Juncker, who chaired the Euro Group from 2005 until he stepped down in January this year, said that he saw parallels with 1913.

“In 1913 many believed that there would be no more war in Europe. The great powers of the continent were so closely inter-twined economically that the view was widespread that they could no longer have military confrontations,” he said.

Mr Juncker also claimed that the only way for Europe to continue to wield global influence in future was through being united. The governments of Germany, France and Britain all knew that the only way their voice could be heard internationally was “through the megaphone of the EU,” he said.

Bron: The Telegraph

NB: en ons nitwitje Jeroentje Dijsselbloem is de opvolger van deze klootviool.

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