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The European Union is crumbling, a “German Perspective” on the current situation of protests in Greece ought to be interesting amongst all of the negativity which is often haunting newspaper headlines.
So, let’s start with my home base. Even since France’s Sarkozy has disappeared from the scene, with him his status as a tower of strength in Europe, our first female Chancellor Mrs. Merkel hasn’t relented in her efforts in the creation of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), with an ever increasing domestic demand to save as much of the German taxpayer’s money as possible. She may be acting like this because she is mocked for being an opportunist occasionally. Proof of this lies in the former sound bites of the strong woman herself, who, when fighting for the energy turnaround, used to say things like: “It’s like baking a cake – here and there something can go wrong” about nuclear power. But then, that was 14 years ago, before the onset of national leadership.
Let’s go further to Greece. What I could see on German TV were some sensational documentaries about corruption and work-less people ravaging the streets of Athens, cameras showing the extent to which everything there is going wrong. I found that worrying in the German press. Just as worrying as I find pictures of Merkel dressed up as Nazi in Greek newspapers. Concluding neither country does too well regarding the neutrality of their media coverage. It’s no surprise that in a survey only 39 per cent of Germans think that Greece shall stay in the Eurozone.
To sum it up: media coverage, impressions, and personal situation will change each individual views. As for “My German Perspective,” I’d like to clarify that I cannot sense any negative energy, neither against Greece nor its population within my social contacts. I can therefore conclude that it is media coverage that over-emphasizes the divisions between the European spectrum of nations.
By Anita Baumgartner
The UoB Linguist Magazine
Guild of Students,
University of Birmingham