Germany—Admitting the Reality
“Fears grow in Europe over rising German clout” …
These were actual headlines under which some of the more astute commentators wrote analyses of last week’s deal struck by EU leaders in an effort to contain contagion arising out of the eurozone crisis.
After Germany dominated that summit, the response from Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble was, “Germany does not want to lead Europe” (Spiegel, October 31). Then, belying that statement, Schäuble declared Germany’s confirmed intention to force a financial transactions tax on Europe if the G-20 fail to pass such an edict at their upcoming conference later this week. “German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble wants the European Union to go it alone with the introduction of a tax on financial transactions if no agreement can be reached at an upcoming meeting of leaders of the G-20 group of top industrial and emerging economies” (ibid).
Does anyone believe Schäuble when he states “Germany does not want to lead Europe”? Certainly not the authors of the items that appeared under the above headlines.
Until recent times, Germany was the elephant in Europe’s living room that pundits mostly avoided talking about. Now, German predominance in all negotiations concerning the EU and certainly at present the eurozone are finally forcing observers to admit the obvious: Germany is once again intent on calling the tune in Europe, and that means danger for not only Europe but also the rest of the world.
Germany is the only EU member nation that has reserved to itself the power of its Constitutional Court to overrule EU mandates. Though all other 26 member nations of the EU were constrained by their leaders to vote in support of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty/EU constitution, Germany’s acquiescence was held back while its Constitutional Court argued the validity of the nation committing to that document within the constraints of German law.
Germany is the only member nation of the EU that must seek the approval of its Constitutional Court to send its army into battle.
And now, amid the greatest crisis the EU has ever experienced, the German Constitutional Court has slapped a temporary injunction on the German committee convened to speed the process of German contributions to the European Financial Stability Facility (efsf), the EU bailout mechanism designed to deal with stemming the risk of further contagion within eurozone countries of debt disasters such as faced by Greece, Ireland, Portugal and possibly Spain, Italy and even France.
“Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court on Friday expressed doubts about the legality of a new panel of lawmakers set up by the German parliament to reach quick decisions on the release of funds from the euro bailout mechanism, the European Financial Stability Facility. The court issued a temporary injunction banning the nine-person committee in the Bundestag from taking any decisions on the efsf’s deployment of German taxpayer money. … The decision from the court, located in Karlsruhe, could also slow down Bundestag approval of the further application of German credit guarantees within the scope of the euro backstop fund” (ibid, October 28).
Technically, if the challenge to the legal authority of the German panel is successful, the deal that EU leaders made, substantially contingent on German support, could collapse. This would lead to massive confusion in global stock markets, which are all attuned to the ongoing machinations in Europe revolving around the eurozone contagion. Any glitch in the efsf deal could make for tectonic economic results globally.
But Germany has another card to play: the European Central Bank. On the night that last week’s EU summit concluded its deal to extend EU bailout funds, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard observed, “Europe’s ‘Grand Plan’ to save monetary union is, in broad terms, a settled matter. …
“Whether it proves any more successful than past efforts over the past two years is far from clear. The package is a huge gamble. If it goes wrong, it may accelerate contagion to core Europe, hastening the denouement so feared by EU leaders” (Telegraph,October 26).
That’s the great gamble being played out in Karlsruhe as Germany’s Constitutional Court holds up Germany’s part of the deal. Evans-Pritchard continued, “The plan will ‘probably’ be buttressed by an off-books fund that uses efsf seed money to rope in the International Monetary Fund, China, Japan and Russia.” Even though these nations will play the game of hard to get in the process, they must eventually come to the aid of Europe as their markets are so closely enmeshed with that of the world’s greatest trading entity, the EU. But they will all impose conditions to their own advantage on the lending that takes place.
In the meantime, the cleverest analysts of the eurozone crisis recognize one significant ace that Germany has not yet played in the whole process. Evans-Pritchard observes the ace up Germany’s sleeve. “‘The larger the efsf, the faster the dominos fall,’ said Daniel Gross from the Center for European Policy Studies.
“The risk is that the leverage scheme will accelerate contagion to the core. Jacques Cailloux, from rbs, said the plan is ‘very dangerous’ unless the European Central Bank (ecb) is fully mobilized to back-stop the system.
“Chancellor Angela Merkel again ruled out any such a role for the ecb in her Bundestag speech on Wednesday.” But Merkel is really playing politics here, for ultimately the market has its say, and, “The view in the markets is that only the ecb has the credible lending power to contain the crisis …” (ibid, emphasis added).
Today the European Central Bank presidency is taken over by the Jesuit-trained governor of the Italian Bank, Mario Draghi. This places a Roman in charge of the only financial institution that the market contends has the power to step in and truly make a dent in the euro crisis.
Note that there was not a general consensus at the EU summit that prevented European Central Bank intervention in the euro crisis. It was the chancellor of Germany! So who really is in charge of the EU’s Central Bank? The answer appears to be obvious.
But now we have the pope’s man in the ecb at a time when Italy is being considered at risk of catching the eurozone’s contagious disease. This could change the whole nature of the manner in which Germany seeks to control that bank.
Germany is no longer the elephant in the room that pundits are afraid to mention. Germany has come charging out of its self-imposed constraints. Its imperialist motives are becoming more obvious by the week. But a new elephant is now entering the room: old Rome.
As Herbert Armstrong prophesied decades ago, there is only one power that can truly unite Europe. It is not a political, economic or fiscal power. It is a religion. It is the very religion that Pope Benedict is carefully firing up in a renewed crusade labeled “The new evangelization for the transmission of the Christian faith,” which he intends to extend across the whole European continent, and indeed the whole globe. That religion is the glue that will briefly unite Europe in a seventh, final and, most mercifully, very brief resurrection of that old institution, the Holy Roman Empire, as the final outcome of the great postwar project to unify Europe.
That religion will become the primary influence over the minds that rule politically, economically and monetarily in Europe. It is prophesied to be so in the 13th and 17th chapter of the book of Revelation. Having the pope’s man head the Frankfurt-based European bank is a step toward fulfillment of that great prophecy.
With German elites now empowered to a fresh and revitalized assertiveness in pursuing their goals for revival of an imperial German power, watch for Rome to increasingly assert its influence over affairs in the present two-tier Europe as it soon takes on its ultimate 10-nation composition.