Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I don't know whether the darker strands of the national psyche are rising again. I see several trends here:

Isolationism: the sense that our own problems are so overwhelming leaves us with less appetite to participate in solving other people's problems. In an NYT article about the German economic resurgence they quoted a woman who had the notion of "We wanna be like Switzerland. Wealthy, independent." And of course she wanted the old currency back. I don't see how independent/neutral you can be with nine direct neighbors. But keep dreaming...

De-Solidarization: Germany like some other social democracies has seen an extended period of cut-cut-cut. The barrage of doomerish media fire didn't leave Germans 'unscarred' and less polarized. 'Why should we bail out the Greeks? What is their contribution to solving the problem? We're fighting over the table scraps and now we have to spend vast amounts on those lazy, corrupt Mediterraneans?!'

Bouncing back: after a dearth of good economic news in the past 15-20 years, Germans weren't really alarmed by the financial crisis ('We are in crisis? Old news!) and are surprised to see themselves on top now. 'We must have done something right - surprising as it is.' That's a very German trait that brooding inwardness, frequently coupled with depression but bouncing back to pride and sometimes arrogance. 'Aha! In the end, we did know better! We're showing those Anglo-Saxon capitalists how to run an economy - and the rest of the EU too!'

That's a start. Maybe I will think of more.

Schengen is toast!

by epochepoque on Tue May 10th, 2011 at 05:39:20 PM EST
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