It’s logical that German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble had a plan B in his pocket for the case the majority of British people would vote in favor of Brexit. like every well-trained bureaucrat Schaeuble is much too insecure to let anything get him by surprise. The German finance minister loves to live in his Kafkaesque castle surrounded by high walls of rules and regulations, of protocols and directives, and fences made of primary and secondary paragraphs, of periods and semicolons – and a comma here and there, a tiny fancy sprinkle to break the dull monotony. In the nicely shielded paper world of Schaeuble there is no space for ‘exclamation marks’. Schaeuble hates surprises and wants to be covered for any unpredictable developments, cosmic attacks included.
And the Brexit Vote was indeed an exclamation mark threatening to bring down to collapse Schaeuble’s World of Austerity Wonders, his puny and laboriously compiled refuge. The German finance minister took his precautions ahead of the Thursday vote and had his team write down preparations draft for Brexit.
According to German dailies Die Welt and Handelsblatt that have obtained a copy of the “German strategy regarding Brexit“, the 8-page long document details how the government wants to deal with Britain as it leaves the European Union.
Germany is willing to negotiate an association agreement with Britain, but wants to avoid making too many concessions that would give incentives for other states to follow suit. Other countries that might want to leave the European Union could be France, Austria, Finland, the Netherlands and Hungary, the paper notes.
To deter other European countries from leaving the bloc, the European Union “should refrain from setting wrong incentives for other member states when renegotiating relations.”
“The extent of the knock-on effect will depend on the handling of the United Kingdom.”
Both Wolfgang Schaeuble and Chancellor Angela Merkel fear that the European Commision, France and Italy could exploit the current uncertainty to push for more risk-sharing — a reference to pooling liabilities in tackling the euro debt crisis, for example. Germany should “proactively” steer against such a development, the paper said.
The reason for Germany to oppose such a move is not as selfless as it seems. The real reason is pure political calculation as Berlin fears that such a move would strengthen the hands of euroskeptic movements in EU countries and within Germany itself that faces the challenges of far-right, racist Alternative for Germany/AfD but is unable to deal with them.
Schaeuble’s staff are worried about “an increased level of shared liabilities in the euro zone, for instance an independent budget for the 19-nation single currency region or a European deposit guarantee scheme.”
Berlin is only willing to accept a deeper level of integration in the European Union when E.U. treaties are changed, for instance to strengthen the control of budget and economic policies. One of the proposals in Mr. Schäuble’s paper is:
“to give the European Union the power to block a nation’s budget plan if it does not meet the region’s deficit rules.”
The paper also said Britain’s departure from the European Union could cost Germany €3 billion, or $3.3 billion, to make up for the future absence of Britain’s contribution to the European budget. The hole would have to be plugged by other E.U. countries. (full article in Handelsblatt)
The German dogma has been always clear: “Wins are ours, Losses are yours.” This policy cannot work but Berlin is not willing to change it. Because it cannot. The weak psycho needs to have Control! Control! Control! to be able to breathe and function.
There is a Nietzsche’s aphorism: Der Schein und das Sein (Appearance and Reality). Berlin appears to be strong but in reality is on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
The EU is me! And the Eurozone, of course!
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier shouted this morning at the world:
“Won’t Let Anyone Take Europe From Us”
An odd shout out that reminds -paraphrased- of cries for help in psycho-drama sessions.
Steinmeier had invited foreign ministers from the EU’s six founding members (Benelux, The Netherlands, Italy and France in a villa in Berlin to consult about the Brexit vote.
“I am confident that these  countries can also send a message that we won’t let anyone take Europe from us,” Steinmeier told reporters.
Right. Steinmeier (SPD) did not hold the meeting in Brussels as he should but in EU’s unofficial headquarters in Berlin thus claiming ownership and leadership of the European Union. Not only he excluded the rest of the EU-member states from the decision making process he also left outside the core EU institutions, the European Commission.
A not at all diplomatic move? Certainly. A sign of German arrogance? No doubt. A spasmodic act? For sure. Authoritarian behavior? Absolutely.
Steinmeier called the European Union “a successful project of peace and stability” and said that there was a “strong desire” within the bloc to defend and strengthen it.
He did not elaborate whether “the bloc” are all 27 – still 28 indeed- EU members or only the founding ones.
“I think it is absolutely clear that we are in a situation in which neither hysteria nor paralysis are permissible, ” Steinemeir said and added “We must not rush headlong into hectic action, pretending we had all the answers. But we must also not fall into depression or inaction after the British decision.”
I think it is a rumor, that his doctor prescribed him zanax or valium and checked the connection between ears and brain.
Or Aspirin did not help after going to an Irish pub! Hicks!
Tweeted last night by German Foreign Ministry
— GermanForeignOffice (@GermanyDiplo) June 24, 2016
Tweeted this morning
— GermanForeignOffice (@GermanyDiplo) June 25, 2016
PS The Grexit-option of 2015 was not an exclamation mark for Schaeuble: there would have been no negotiations with Greece but just implementation of the thoroughly-thought 5-year Grexit-Plan Schaeuble had prepared already in 2011 and tabled it to Tsipras in May 2015.