Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Future of Germany and Europe

Angela Merkl is officially the new German chancellor from today, Tuesday November 22. It has taken few months to put together a squad of ministers taken from a grand coalition, as the elections did not give a clear winner.

Many Germans have already complained about the instability and uncertainty coming from this situation. We can only hope they are wrong.

German elections are not only of national concern. They are of course of European concern, and Europeans have all interest in a healthy German economy and political stability.

The engine of Europe, France and Germany, has taken a rest if not a halt. Their economic, political, cultural situations are shaky. But they are not the only ones, their crisis mirror that of many other European countries. I laugh when I think that the Economist pointed at Italy as the European patient few months ago.

As usual, the Economist caricatural headlines do not grasp the subtlety of more general trends in politics. They could not see that European patient is Europe itself as represented by its member states.

From now on, Europe has to take seriously its own crisis. Let's look around, 'The Old Continent', Europe, really looks older and older ( in the sense that there are fewer younger people and a growing number of elderly). It is slowly transforming itself in a huge open air Disneyland, for wealthy american and chinese tourists. (When tourism is the primary source of revenue, a polity should start worrying, I believe).

In order to create a future, Europe must invest on the potentiality of its new generations. Trust them. Nurture them. Otherwise, they will all leave for more interesting places. And Europe will become more and more a sort of Club Med for Elderly, so long that the state pension system will not make it collapse.

Come on Europe, you can make it. But you have to go through some pain and reforms, otherwise you'll be stuck in your 'glorious' past.

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