“I fear that the German government, including its social democratic faction, have gambled away in one night all the political capital that a better Germany had accumulated in half a century,” he told the Guardian. Previous German governments, he said, had displayed “greater political sensitivity and a post-national mentality”.Obviously, in the latter he means the first time in the history of the current Federal Republic.
Habermas, widely considered one of the most influential contemporary European intellectuals, said that by threatening Greece with an exit from the eurozone over the course of the negotiations, Germany had “unashamedly revealed itself as Europe’s chief disciplinarian and for the first time openly made a claim for German hegemony in Europe.” [my emphasis]
Habermas added: “Forcing the Greek government to agree to an economically questionable, predominantly symbolic privatisation fund cannot be understood as anything other an act of punishment against a leftwing government.”Yes, it was.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras obviously wound up accepting a humiliating defeat. But his months-long fight to negotiate a reasonable deal with Iron Chancellor II
Joanna Slater reports (Germany is remaking the euro zone in its own image Globe and Mail 07/16/2015):
Helmut Kohl, Germany’s former chancellor, had a favourite maxim about his vision for the future, inspired by the words of the famous writer Thomas Mann. The ultimate goal, Mr. Kohl said, was “a European Germany, not a German Europe.”Merkel's cruel real face is being highlighted by the #merkelstreichelt Twitter hashtag.
Now, as Greece implements the bitterly fought agreement reached Monday with its creditors, the deal underlines the new reality of the euro zone: Germany is remaking the currency bloc in its own image.
It’s a place where the focus is on spending cuts, implementing structural reforms and abiding by the rules. It’s also backed by an implicit warning – if a country veers off track as Greece has, it will pay dearly or face a calamitous ejection from the currency union. ...
Some observers despaired of the way Greece’s predicament has been presented in Germany. “If you are breastfeeding Germans newspaper headlines about lazy Greeks,” that has an impact on public opinion, noted Ulrike Guérot of the European School of Governance in Berlin. “We need to deconstruct these arguments,” she said. “We are the biggest benefiter of the whole European project.”
By losing sight of that fact, she said, Germany risks its historical role as the country that was willing to do and pay a bit more to move the project forward – a kind of benign hegemon. These days, “we are doing hegemony without the benign-ness.” [my emphasis]
As The Independent reports (Lizzie Dearden, Angela Merkel makes Palestinian girl facing deportation from Germany cry on television 07/16/2015):
Angela Merkel has been heavily criticised after appearing to make a Palestinian refugee cry by telling her she could not stop her family's possible deportation.If Bill Clinton's trademark style was "I feel your pain," Angie's is more like, "I spit on your pain!"
The girl was among a group of school pupils gathered in the city of Rostock on Wednesday for an appearance by the German Chancellor. ...
“As long as I don't know how long I can stay here, I don’t know what my future will be,” Reem said, in fluent German.
“I really want to study in Germany - it is unfair to watch while other people can enjoy life and you can’t enjoy it with them.”
Having expected a routine question-and-answer session for the government’s Gut Leben in Deutschland (Living Well in Germany) programme, Ms Merkel appeared momentarily thrown by the change of direction.
“I understand that, however I have to… sometimes politics is hard,” Ms Merkel said.
“You’re a very nice person but you know that there are thousands and thousands of people in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and if say 'you can all come,' and 'you can all come from Africa,' and 'you can all come,' we just can't manage that."
Here's a video with English subtitles, Angela Merkel makes Palestinian girl facing deportation from Germany cry on television:
I'm surprised she didn't tell the little girl, "And I suppose you also expect me to spare your little dog, Toto, eh, my pretty? Bwaahahaha!"
Angie has lost her her cuddly "Mutti" image, it seems. Too bad, kid, we're gonna deport you. But "sometimes politics is hard." So stop your whining or I'll give you something to really cry about! Ask the Greeks what happens to people who mess with me, you little crybaby!
It's become obvious that Thucydides is one of Angie's favorite political theorists: “the strong do what they will, and the weak suffer what they must.” That includes you, whiny little girl!
Amanda Taub comments on this revealing performance by Merkel in Angela Merkel should be ashamed of her response to this sobbing Palestinian girl Vox 07/16/2015:
If it feels unjust to see one of the most powerful people in the world tell a crying child that her future dreams have to be destroyed because "politics is hard sometimes," that's because it is unjust. Germany's attitude toward refugees is wrong, and it's hurting innocent people. And Merkel knows that — she's just not used to being confronted with evidence of it on live TV.
In her response, Merkel was trying to imply that if Germany treats this girl and her family leniently, it will somehow be obligated to accept the entire world’s refugees. But that’s disingenuous. There is no mechanism by which that would happen. There is no rule that says that if Germany grants asylum to a family in Rostock then it has to accept every Palestinian in a Lebanese camp, or everyone from "Africa." There is no slippery slope here because there isn’t a slope at all. Right now, Germany has a legal obligation to protect refugees who are inside its borders, and no legal obligation to protect those who are outside them. Granting this girl and her family refugee status, visas, or even just temporary relief from deportation wouldn’t change that in the slightest.
What Merkel really means is that there are currently millions of people in the world who could have valid asylum claims, and she's worried they'll all come to Germany if it seems even slightly welcoming. So Germany deports people like this young Palestinian and her family to set an example that's just cruel enough to serve as a deterrent.