German Hegemony: Unintended and Unwanted

Appeared, in an abbreviated version, in Le Monde diplomatique, May 2015. Italian translation appeared in il Mulino 4/2015 (PDF here).

Germany’s new European hegemony is a product of European Monetary Union in combination with the crisis of 2008. It was not Germany, however, which had wanted the Euro. Its export industries had since the 1970s lived comfortably with repeated devaluations of the currencies of Germany’s European trading partners, in response to which much of German manufacturing moved out of price-sensitive into quality-competitive markets. It was above all France which sought a common European currency, to end the felt humiliation of having to devalue the Franc against the Mark and, after 1989, to bind united Germany firmly into a, hopefully French-led, united Europe. Weiterlesen