A spectre is haunting Europe. This time it is not the workers’ revolution however, but the white man’s revolution – or, I should rather say, counter-revolution. And we shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking it is simply the white working-class either, but the white people of all classes and all European nations. The form this spectre has taken for the moment is Donald Trump, who arrived in Europe on Wednesday.
Two stories on European follies today; the ongoing Migration saga of Europe, and the Greek ‘debt relief’ agreed on Thursday night. They are contrasting examples of eras of European integration: the latter, the last hurrah for the Merkel style of politics that were seemingly going to shape Europe for decades to come; the former, the new Europe, where Merkel is isolated and intergovernmental agreements can no longer be made to look like they suite everyone’s interests.
In this week’s news on Friday, we’ll be discussing the prognosis for eurozone reform in the context of the new Italian government, the comments of the US ambassador in Berlin, human-trafficking from Romania to Sicily, and more Brexit news.
This Friday (1st June), there are two main events emanating from the South that of course demand attention: the moción de censura which passed successfully in the Spanish Congreso in Madrid, and the confirmation in Rome of Italian Prime Minister-Designate, Giuseppe Conte, and the rag-tag band of populists from the Lega (formerly Nord) of Matteo Salvini and Movimento 5 Stella of Luigi Di Maio, who hope they can run a government together.
I haven’t always found goodbyes difficult. At first, as a child, it was mainly because in performing the act of saying goodbye, I didn’t ever feel like this was a permanent end so I didn’t – in the moment – see much to be sad about.
Like Tadeusz Rejtan, who desperately tried to halt the partition and disintegration of his country 1773, we must block the door of the room that is the European idea even as others begin to make their discreet or not so discreet exit. If we do not, then Europe’s slide will be unstoppable, and our great civilisation will pass to history.
Europa is the home of difference and diversity, where new influences are not added to anything but clash and conflict with each other, fighting on the great Hegelian battleground of culture, creed and beliefs. The problem is of course, when this civic conflict of words, arguments, images and sounds becomes one of bullets and bayonets; it is then that we remember why we need a United Europa.