Der Grabgesang Zyperns

PRINCETON – Europa kann sich seine eigene Begleitmusik zu seiner jüngsten Krise aussuchen. In Berlin hatte gerade 50 Cents „All Things Fall Apart“ Premiere; dieser Soundtrack könnte also passen. Der Kontinent könnte auch auf den vor 200 Jahren geborenen Giuseppe Verdi zurückgreifen, dessen vorletztes und vermutlich größtes Opernwerk an der Küste Zyperns beginnt – mit einem Sturm von fantastischer Gewalt und den einleitenden Worten seines Helden Otello: Esultate, frohlocket! Der Krieg ist gewonnen, aber Otellos Leistung wird später durch seine Eifersucht zerstört.

Heute scheint es, als sei Zypern gerettet. Doch die Rettung hat einen wachsenden Riss verstärkt, der die Zukunft der europäischen Integration gefährdet, teilweise aufgrund der Art und Weise, in der die Umwälzungen des frühen 20. Jahrhunderts – insbesondere die Große Depression – in den Debatten über die Finanzkrise im Gefolge des Jahres 2008 und die daran anschließende Eurokrise nachgespielt werden.

Die Wirtschaftskrise der Zwischenkriegszeit erwies sich als so unlösbar, weil sie zugleich eine Krise der sozialen Stabilität, der Demokratie und der internationalen politischen Ordnung war. Weitverbreitete Konkurse und Arbeitslosigkeit verstärkten die sozialen Spannungen und machten letztlich eine normale demokratische Politik unmöglich. In Deutschland, dem Epizentrum des Zusammenbruchs der Demokratie, wüteten Rechts- und Linksradikale gegen die Friedensregelung und den Vertrag von Versailles.

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