This Guardian article by prominent French and German ministers is an important read. Check it out!
When I first read the article, I thought that it was written by typical Guardian writers, strong on opinion but light on experience. Then I googled the authors and to my surprise found them to be high-profile ministers. Emmanuel Macron, is France’s Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs. He’s a graduate of elitist, ENA and a former investment banker – he closed a big deal between Nestle & Pfizer. Meanwhile, Sigmar Gabriel is Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy and Vice President of Germany. Gabriel who comes from a relatively humble background and was originally a teacher is also Chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany.
Whilst I respect the passion with which the authors argue the case, I believe they are both not close enough to the political and social sharp edge in Europe. Europe is polarized towards the hard-right and the hard-left because of divisive economic policies. France urgently needs social reform and Germany needs infrastructure investment. I sense that these two politicians are not yet battle hardened political bruisers. Political leadership is about more than passion – it’s about convincing ordinary people to change their views.
I see matters very differently. Both the UK and Greece, in very different ways are quite rightly kicking the tires of the European experiment.
For me, there needs to be more strategic thinking, faster decisions and the bureaucracies must taste their own austerity medicine.