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IM - I am German by birth and parentage and only became an Irish citizen as an adult when I choose to make my home in Ireland.  I have no animus against Germans or Germany whatsoever and many of my relatives still reside there.  Germany doesn't have a monopoly on nationalism or xenophobia even if it has one of the most unfortunate histories of it.  It is also the most powerful nation in the EU.  That should make us doubly vigilant concerning any upsurge of nationalism there.

The EU was designed to divert nationalist tendencies into a greater European whole, so it is no surprise that those invested in the European ideal should be especially critical of nationalist tendencies. Be assured that we are also critical of nationalist tendencies at home - you have never seen me voice support for Sinn Fein, even though they are now re-inventing themselves as the major Irish party of the left...

So lets be less sensitive about criticisms of our home countries polity and politics.  To criticize Germany is not to exonerate all others... Germany is currently only the leader of a tendency in Europe that we all deplore - having had a very positive record since 1945. I hope you share our disappointment that that is now sadly the case.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 07:15:37 AM EST
"I hope you share our disappointment that that is now sadly the case."

Not really.

  1. people being unchained, uninhibited on facebokk  - perhaps especially racist ones - is a worldwide phenomenon

  2. I lived through the xenophobic wave in reaction to refugees from south-eastern and eastern Europe in Germany in the early and mid nineties. And it was much worse  then.(part of my alternative cilivian service was done in refuge home) The reaction of the general population is much more positive now.  

  3. I tend to believe in the iceberg theory: xenophobia was always there and is more or less unchanged. It is just because of social media etc more visible.

  4. This has not much to do with Greece.
by IM on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 07:57:38 AM EST
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You have the advantage on me in that I have not lived or spent much time in Germany in a very long time.  So I cannot comment on your observations about what the general population thinks, or whether it is better or worse than in the 1990's.

What I can comment on is the effect that the German government is having on EU politics more generally.  Having been a force for moderation and v. supportive of EU policies and transfers in terms of regional, integration, social cohesion and development funds, it now takes a v. hard line on the development  of such mechanisms.  

We are used to this attitude from UK Tories and certain east European leaders, but they have been marginal to the development of the EU as a whole which has tended to be driven by a German-France axis. What is new is that the German Government is now leading the change politically as well as leading the charge towards unsustainable economic policies.  It is hard to envisage Brandt or even Schmidt take a similar attitude towards Greece, for instance.

We owe a lot to German governments for their constructive role in the development of the EU.  Unfortunately the current government is now undoing much of that good work, and I don't see much prospect of a Green/Linke/SPD alternative with much more progressive policies emerging.  Perhaps that is where you can set us right.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 10:17:30 AM EST
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