European Parliament/Flickr

De terugkeer van de slechte Duitser

BERLIJN – Gedurende de lange nacht onderhandelen over Griekenland van 12 op 13 juli is er een fundamenteel facet van de Europese Unie gebarsten, en sindsdien leven alle Europeanen in een andere EU.

Wat er die nacht veranderde was het Duitsland dat de Europeanen sinds het einde van de Tweede Wereldoorlog gekend hebben. Aan de oppervlakte gingen de onderhandelingen over het voorkomen van een Griekse exit (of: ‘Grexit’) uit de eurozone en de bittere consequenties die hier voor Griekenland en de monetaire unie op zouden volgen. Op een dieper niveau echter was de rol binnen Europa van de meest bevolkte lidstaat met de krachtigste economie het onderwerp.

De Duitse wederopstanding na de Tweede Wereldoorlog en het terugwinnen van het vertrouwen van de wereld (dat culmineerde in de toestemming tot de Duitse eenwording 45 jaar later), werd gebouwd op stevige pijlers qua binnen- en buitenlands beleid. In het binnenland kwam er al snel een stabiele democratie met een sterke rechtsstaat op. Het economische succes van de Duitse verzorgingsstaat bleek een model voor de rest van Europa. En de bereidheid van de Duitsers om de nazimisdaden zonder terughoudendheid onder ogen te zien voedde een diepgewortelde scepsis tegen alles dat militair was.

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