Radoslaw Sikorski: I fear Germany’s power less than her inactivity

Radoslaw Sikorski (picture Poland Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

The break up of the eurozone would be a crisis of apocalyptic proportions, going beyond our financial system. Once the logic of “each man for himself” takes hold, can we really trust everyone to act in a communitarian way and resist the temptation to settle scores in other areas, such as trade? Would you really bet the house on the proposition that if the eurozone breaks up, the single market, the cornerstone of the European Union, will definitely survive? After all, messy divorces are more frequent than amicable ones.

What, as Poland’s foreign minister, do I regard as the biggest threat to the security and prosperity of Poland in the last week of November 2011? It is not terrorism, and it is certainly not German tanks. It is not even Russian missiles, which President Dmitry Medvedev has just threatened to deploy on the EU’s border. The biggest threat to the security of Poland would be the collapse of the eurozone.

I demand of Germany that, for its own sake and for ours, it help the eurozone survive and prosper. Nobody else can do it. I will probably be the first Polish foreign minister in history to say this, but here it is: I fear German power less than I am beginning to fear its inactivity. You have become Europe’s indispensable nation. You may not fail to lead: not dominate, but to lead in reform.

From a speech by Radoslaw Sikorski, Poland’s foreign minister, in Berlin on 28 November 2011.

Read the whole speech here Sikorski on the EU Nov 2011

And a commentary in the Economist here http://www.economist.com/blogs/easternapproaches/2011/11/polands-appeal-germany

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