“Kaiser Wilhelm had a master plan for Europe…”

The Irish Times reports pointed criticism from former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt of the recent German and French bickering in Europe.  And the report notes some interesting comments from Ulrike Guérot, Berlin head of the European Council on Foreign Relations…

Leading European think tanks were more critical about Mr Schmidt’s “Wilhelmine” remarks. “As much as I see his point, that Germany is being perceived in Europe in a negative way, Kaiser Wilhelm had a master plan for Europe whereas in Berlin at the moment it is government by default,” said Ulrike Guérot, Berlin head of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

“What is not taken into account abroad is that Germany is exhausted and disoriented,” she said. “After decades as the only truly European country, and after carrying the largest share of the European project politically and financially for so long, it has reached the limits of its capabilities in Europe.”

A spokesman for Dr Merkel declined to comment directly, adding that the only monarch in Dr Merkel’s chancellery office was a portrait of Catherine the Great.

“She admires her as a strong woman, not because she shares her political views,” he said, adding hastily “and certainly not the views of the Kaiser.”

Glad to hear it…

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  • Greenflag

    Catherine the Great a strong woman ?

    She probably makes Maggie Thatcher look like the Tin woman on the road to Oz;)

    A brief bio of Catherine

    ‘Born a princess in Germany, Catherine the Great converted to Orthodoxy and was married to the heir to the Russian throne, the Grand Duke Peter of Holstein, grandson of Peter the Great. Though Catherine the Great had the support of Peter’s mother, the Empress Elizabeth, she disliked her husband and helped engineer his removal from the throne. She took power as Tsarina or Queen, calling herself Catherine II. Soon after, she may have been behind Peter’s death.
    During her reign, Catherine the Great expanded Russia’s borders to the Black Sea and into central Europe. She promoted westernization and modernization though within the context of her autocratic control over Russia and increasing the control of landed gentry over serfs. Catherine the Great promoted education and the Enlightenment among the elite. She kept up a correspondence with many figures of the Enlightenment in Europe.

    Catherine the Great is often remembered for her many lovers. She came to the throne with her lover Count Gregory Orlov’s active support; while remaining committed to him she also took many other lovers.’

    end of

    She also iirc financed and supported the French ‘enlightened’ philosopher Diderot and at one time if not still , the great Diderot’s library was kept and maintained at the L’Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg .

    ‘Glad to hear it…’

    Perhaps not 😉

    Dr Merkel (or Mutti Merkel -mother merkel as she is affectionately known is no dry as dust academic despite her ‘physics ‘ background . The way she ‘knifed’ former Kanzler Kohl as she climbed to the top in German politics might suggest she may have more in common with Catherine the Great than Vicky’s first cousin Kaiser Bill .

  • Peter McMorran

    Of greater interest, and, of course, not picked up by the tame and compliant Irish media, is the comments contained within this interview with leading hedge fund manager Hugh Hendry, regarding what is likely to happen in places like Ireland and Latvia when economic reality finally dawns;


    But hey, what is social revolution against the token tantrums of some heavily infiltrated middle aged fat republicans…?

  • Minor issue first – Physics is not “dry as dust” – its a very interesting subject which has a lot of hard sums….
    Nor only did Merkel knife Kohl (someone had to do it given all the scandals), she also got the better of Stoiber and beat Schröder in an election. She is a very shrewd person and also not someone who is given to grandstanding or Blairite BS. I am not especially a fan of hers but in time like these it is pleasant to have someone who appears to be a safe pair of hands in control.
    Wilhelm II – his plans were for a customs union dominated by Germany. The difference between this concept and the EU is that today, Germany has to pay but does not have control. The locals here are getting restless, so be warned – I can’t see the German electorate being willing to accept any more bail outs of the “profligate”. Nostalgia for the Deutschmark is as strong as ever.

  • Greenflag


    Fair enough re the ‘physics’ . Germany was always too big for Europe but too small for the world which is why one French commentator said he liked Germany so much he thought having two Germany’s was preferable to having just the one . I believe Mrs Thatcher was of the same opinion back in 1990 😉

    Yes Mutti Merkel is a safe pair of hands and yes there is a limit to bailing out the ‘profligates’ .

  • Greenflag

    This Hendry crieth wolf too long . By now anybody who has listened to his hysteria re the inevitable collapse of the Euro and the EU knows how much Hendry’s hedge fund stands to benefit .

    I suspect by now he’s probably now hedging his bets the other way . These hedge fund chappies like it both ways . As we should remember from Goldman Sachs screwing of it’s own clients these wretches have the morality of a Rasputin with more than a touch of Machiavellian ruthlessness . The way Hendry writes off entire countries and looks forward to the next bubble burst in Asia like an excited child waiting for Santa at Christmas should be disturbing – but it isn’t because we have all become inured to the ‘armageddon ‘ speak of the financial services voodoo merchants 🙁

  • Alias

    Hendry is right that folks in Ireland will discover that there isn’t going to be a better tomorrow, but there is a lot more linked to it that is known. The first thing that folks in Ireland do when they lose their job is repay the mortgage out of their savings for circa six months in the expectation that their unemployment is temporary. The second thing they do is stop paying their mortgages out of the rapidly depleting savings is get a moratorium from the bank on their mortgage. The third thing they will do when Hendry’s reality kicks in is hand the keys back to the bank. They scale of this problem is going to be massive, and will sink the state due to its guarantee of those banks. But it isn’t just property: its businesses who have been told that everything will soon be well again, despite the reality that everything was built on spending 300 billion of borrowed eurosystem money a year and that is gone forever with the next phase being trying to pay back 300 billion a year with interest. And it all going to happen within 2 years.