About two weeks ago, there was more strange news and moves from Germany. We'll get to that in a moment, but first, let's recall some background. The first factor is Germany's precarious position in the center of Europe, surrounded by...well, if history is any teacher, Germany is surrounded by sharks: France and England to the West, Italy, and at one time, Austria-Hungary to the South, Russia to the East, and at one time in its history, Sweden to the North. Prior to German unification under Prussia in 1871, the smaller German states, duchies, principalities and Free City-States merely functioned as the great Freeway of Europe. With the rise of Prussia as a great power, German diplomacy has had to walk a very careful tightrope balancing act between the western powers and Russia, making German foreign policy appear to the West, even in the best of circumstances, as schizophrenic.
More recently, we have seen Germany's pivotal role in postwar Europe in the creation first of the Common Market, then the European Union and the Eurozone, its pivotal role in NATO (post-reunification NATO, for example, was at one time heavily influenced by German General Klaus Naumann)...on and on we could go. Then came the shotgun wedding of East and West Germany under Chancellor Helmut Kohl's government, and then the emergence of the BRICSA nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), an unlikely geopolitical "alignment" brought about, as I have argued here, by the growing opposition and mistrust of post-Soviet American unilateralism, arrogance, and aggression. Whether America's expanding role in the globe is justified or not, the mere fact that its military expenditures are trending to exceed the the rest of the world's major powers combined is enough to give those nations concern about the balance of power. The profligacy of American spending has undermined confidence in the dollar as the world's reserve currency, to the point that now it would be safe to say that nothing backs it up, other than the raw threat of American military power.
In that context, Germany's recent calls for repatriation of its gold could be interpreted within the traditional context: Germany is merely displaying its typical schizophrenic diplomacy. Advocates of such a view could easily point to its central role in the EU.
But I'm not so sure, and I have indeed voiced the idea on this site that Germany's long term economic and strategic choices seem to lie more clearly with a realignment with Russia and China. With that in mind, a couple of weeks ago Germany sent another shocker to pompy Van Rompuy and the Euro-kooks in Brussels:
Lest you haven't the time to read Zero Hedge's assessment, it's summed up in that crucial last paragraph:
"But for Germany Inc., China is one of the two big economic engines that are still pulling. Exports to the Eurozone, particularly to top trade partner France, have stalled, and the industry is looking to China for growth. Chinese money is also flowing into Germany as Chinese companies are on a shopping spree, paying top euros for 98 firms in 2012, including Putzmeister, a world brand for concrete pumps [my article on the aftermath]. Germany Inc. sees in China an escape route from the economic mayhem of the Eurozone; it sees a booming market with over twice the population of the EU. For Germany Inc., China is the future – and Europe a drag. One more treacherous rift across Europe."
That, precisely, is the problem: the Eurozone, the EU, is and has always been a fantasy of silly and delusional people at Bilderberg meetings. The postwar realities that made the Common Market a good idea in the 1950s is no longer geopolitical or economic reality, and to expect Germany to continue to behave like the delusion makes any sort of long term strategic, economic, or political sense is to perpetuate the absurdity.
Bottom line: this is yet another key signal that the fissures in the EU are growing, not shrinking. If the trend keeps going, then we can watch for a quiet growth in the German presence at BRICSA summits, and the first step will come in the form of Germany being invited, and accepting, to send non-official "observers" to those events. That will be a first step to formal participation in the summits.
At that point, the EU will be revealed for what it truly is: without Germany, it's a vast irrelevancy and impotency.
See you on the flip side.