Friday, April 30, 2010

Habermas on the eurozone debt crisis (interview)

In the Financial Times Weekend Magazine, Saturday May 1, 2010:

Excerpt of an interview with Jürgen Habermas, conducted by freelance writer Stuart Jeffries:

"The cost and challenge of the eurozone debt crisis"

Habermas on Angela Merkel's statements on the the debt crisis in Greece:

"Apart from Joschka Fischer, who ran out of steam too quickly, the generation of rulers in Germany since the chancellorship of Gerhard Schröder has pursued an inward-looking national policy. I don’t want to overestimate the role of Germany in Europe. But the breach in mentalities which set in after Helmut Kohl has major significance for Europe.Within the constellation following the second world war, the cautious pursuit of European unification was in the country’s interests because it wanted to return to the fold of civilised nations in the wake of the Holocaust. It looked like the West Germans would have to come to terms with the partition of the country in any case. Mindful of the consequences of their former nationalistic excesses, they had no difficulty in relinquishing the recovery of sovereignty rights and, if necessary, making concessions that would in any case pay off for the Federal Republic. This perspective has changed since the reunification. The German elites seem to be enjoying the comforts of self-satisfied national normalcy: “We can be like the others once again!” I don’t share Margaret Thatcher’s one-time fear that this “normalisation” of public consciousness entails the return of old dangers. But a total defeat connected with an inconceivable moral corruption also created an opportunity for the following generation to learn more quickly. Looking at our present political elite, this window of opportunity seems to be closed. The narcissistic mentality of a self-satisfied colossus in the middle of Europe is no longer even a guarantee that the unstable status quo in the EU will be preserved."


An article in the German weekly "Die Zeit": Habermas attackiert Merkel.

On The Economist's blog: Comments on the Habermas interview.

In Süddeutsche Zeitung May 4, a comment by Gustav Seibt: "Der Euro-Nationalismus".

Update II:

A German translation in "Cicero" June 2010: "Eine List der Vernunft".

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