Max Gallo, a bestselling author, historian, and member of the prestigious French Academy, thinks the ties that bind France and Germany may be fraying quickly as crisis continues to engulf the euro.Der Spiegel correspondent Romain Leick interviewed Gallo and several other French intellectuals in a piece for the magazine today on the tensions between Germany and France.
Gallo had a fascinating insight for Der Spiegel based on his recent experience with a book he is working on:
With yet another major event approaching Europe’s blossoming culture of the jubilee, Gallo is currently working on a book about the months leading up to the outbreak of World War I, the seminal catastrophe of the 21st century, in August 1914. During his work, he noticed an intriguing and unsettling parallel to the current crisis in Europe. Just as in 1914, says Gallo, current events could also trigger a chain reaction, driven by nervousness, panic, conflicts of interest, alliance obligations and practical constraints, which could ultimately defy control by politics and diplomacy.
A hundred years ago, says Gallo, it was the mobilization plans of military leaders, worked out down to the last detail, including train departure times, while today it is the anonymous market powers, banks and market traders, with their computerized commands, that have plunged all key players into “prognostic impotence” and a “chaos of improvised decisions.”
The journalist put forth an interesting claim in the article regarding the deteriorating trust between the eurozone’s two largest and most important economic powers, writing, “There is an unspoken suspicion that German Chancellor Angela Merkel, that unemotional heir to former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, a sentimental advocate of France, could be pursuing a hidden agenda, and that her secret goal is to prepare Germany, the world’s third-largest exporter, for the fight for survival in the age of globalization.”
The entire article is well worth a read.