Opinion: (John Kornblum, Senior Counselor, Noerr Stiefenhofer Lutz, Berlin and Former US Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany): “For the fathers of the euro, the end of the Cold War in 1990 was a time for worry as well as celebration. As they looked to the future, they were also obsessed with the continent’s bloody past. Would a new Europe, and especially a reunified Germany, reawaken old nationalist sentiments and lead again to the danger of war?
“Germany’s Helmut Kohl and France’s Francois Mitterrand—and just about every European leader since—saw a common currency as essentially a political project, meant to cement European unity and remove that danger. For them, a world without the euro would have been a world increasingly threatened by conflict and perhaps even war.
“Because of these fears, the euro project was rushed through without key agreement on the common political institutions that would have turned Europe into a truly unified economic zone. As a result, each country follows its own economic policy; Greece spends, while Germany saves. And markets have been quick to focus on the weakest links, threatening the entire euro by nearly driving countries such as Greece and Portugal to bankruptcy.
“Instead of acting decisively, … European governments feel limited by their commitment to ‘Europe’ to taking small steps that will not endanger the balance within the E.U. This overwhelming fear of internal conflict is the real legacy of World War II, one that has burdened the European Union since its birth in 1957. European politicians may not be experts on finance, but they do know their voters. Doing nothing is better than risking hard-won stability.
“Because in the end, such decisions are still about the war.”
My Comment: In any case, until people become aware of their total mutual dependence, the fear of war will not disappear from their consciousness. Only mutual guarantee will save the world from the fear of war and raise us to the sensation of eternity.