Is this how “Europe” ends?
The Germans, founders and funders of the postwar union, shut their borders to refugees in a bid for political survival by the chancellor who let in a million migrants. And then — why not? — they decide to revive the Deutschmark while they’re at it.
That is not the fantasy of diehard Eurosceptics but a real fear articulated at the highest levels in Berlin and Brussels.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, her ratings hit by crimes blamed on asylum seekers at New Year parties in Cologne, and EU chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker both said as much last week.
Juncker echoed Merkel in warning that the central economic achievements of the common market and the euro are at risk from incoherent, nationalistic reactions to migration and other crises. He renewed warnings that Europe is on its “last chance”, even if he still hoped it was not “at the beginning of the end”.
Merkel, facing trouble among her conservative supporters as much as from opponents, called Europe “vulnerable” and the fate of the euro “directly linked” to resolving the migration crisis — highlighting the risk of at the very least serious economic turbulence if not a formal dismantling of EU institutions.