Donnerstag, Dezember 09, 2004

Schroeder The Elephant

Well, Spiegel has now updated its report in Schroeders demand and it does appear that perhaps at least one or two people in politics here get it.

While some see it as a logical thing - if Germany gets a seat, it should have a veto as well - Werner Hoyer, FDP, put it brilliantly: one can only stand there in amazement watching the government behave like an elephant in the porcelain store of international relations.

Well, it sounds better in the original German, I guess:

Man steht fassungslos davor, wie elefantös die Bundesregierung durch den Porzellanladen der Internationalen Beziehungen wandelt.

Pflüger, CDU, seems to feel that if Germany gets a seat, it has to act as a trustee for the rest of Europe and use its seat as a way of pacifying such unruly peasants as Italy. Pflüger is usually fairly coherent, but in this case he underscores how little Germans want to take on responsibility: by acting as a trustee for Europe, Germany can remain passive and avoid responsibility.

Angela Merkel, who has been trashed a lot lately in the German press, put it correctly: if Germany wants a permanent seat, then it means taking on the appropriate responsibilities. If Germany doesn't want those responsibilities, then it has no place on the Security Council.

Her standing just went up in my estimation: she may be the only German politican of note today that actually understands what is at risk and what the consequences are.

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