Euro Crisis - Populism Dividing Europe
The euro crisis has earned Germany a lot of negative popularity in Europe. Despite agreeing to take on liabilities amounting to some 190 billion euros in the new ESM rescue fund, Europe’s economic powerhouse has not been winning many plaudits.
Last Friday, the Italian newspaper Il Giornale even referred to a "fourth Reich,” accusing German Chancellor Angela Merkel of bringing Italy and Europe to its knees with her intransigence about what role the European Bank should play in the crisis.
And in Germany, the tone is also becoming harsher. The possibility of Greece exiting the eurozone is no longer taboo. Italy and Spain have also come under fire and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and ECB Mario Draghi have come in for personal criticism.
The debate has been dominated by prejudice, frustration and mistrust—by poor versus rich and north versus south. Few people have been talking about Europe as a political or cultural union of late. Mario Monti has even warned that Europe shows the signs of "psychological dissolution”. Are his concerns justified or is it just political rhetoric? Can Europe find a way back to constructive dialogue?
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Quentin Peel -he is international affairs editor of the Financial Times. He is also an associate editor, responsible for leader and feature writing. He is working at the FT since 1975. Between 1976 and 1994 he served successively as southern Africa correspondent, Africa editor, European Community correspondent and Brussels bureau chief, Moscow correspondent, and chief correspondent in Germany. On his return to London he became foreign editor. He took up his present position in September 1998. He was born in July 1948 and educated at Queens’ College, Cambridge, where he studied economics, with French and German.
Ulrike Guérot -After graduating in political science, Ulrike Guérot worked initially as a junior professor in the European Studies faculty of Johns Hopkins University in the United States. Later she became a researcher at the Organisation Notre Europe in Paris and was a staff member of the foreign policy working group of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the German Bundestag. She moved to Berlin to head the Europe research group at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), where her specialties include the European integration process. European institutions, German-French ties and German-American relations. Currently she is focussing on Germany's role in Europe.
Theodore Kouvakas- studied art history in Florence and architecture in Venice, and trained to become a journalist. In the 1980s, he wrote for a range of media outlets. Kouvakas covered foreign policy and financial markets for Imerissia SA, a financial and business newspaper. Since 2010, he had served as Berlin correspondent for Real Media SA. Now he is the correspondent of the greek weekly newspaper “Paraskeri kai Dekatris” in Berlin. His areas of expertise include European financial markets and foreign policy. Kouvakas also has a strong interest in cultural topics.