More than 40 percent of the former East Germans believe that differences outweigh the similarities

Dagens Nyheter has an editorial today for the 20 year celebration of the reunification of Germany. It is up-beat. The Financial Times ran an article the other day which was more to the point and perhaps more true to the actual picture. The communist ghost is not dead and there are nostalgic people left. In a generation or two the rift might be mended though.

Personally I'm pleased with the fact of a reunited Germany. A strong Germany is good for the EU and very important for northern Europe. I especially like the Germans that with the US think in terms of checking Russia. Yes, I'm old enough to remember the Soviet Union and that abominable socialism that cause former East Germany to have only 70% of the GDP of West Germany after 20 years and over a trillion Euros invested.

So what is a strong Germany going to do in Europe? There has not been much written lately since the debt crisis in the spring about the future of the EU, if you discount the talk about "economic governance". A few articles flashed by where there was a call for further political union as the means of saving the Euro so that seems to be the current trend.

If that trend holds up, it is waving in the wind, I don't think Turkey should enter the EU. Their democracy is different from that of northern Europe and would not fit in. They are probably fine on their own as a neighbor of the EU and Russia which they according to Carl Bildt are going to dwarf economically in not too distant future. If the EU stays as it is today, Turkey could probably join without problems. This is apparently the position of AngloAmerica and of the Swedish government although France and Germany are skeptical.

A development that I find interesting is the interest China shows in helping Greece out by even buying bonds if necessary. They apparently want to score some European points for their prosperous state capitalism being nice in the hour of need to the desolate Greeks which the German public was not. They are going to lease part of the port in Piraeus for €3.3bn. Are they giving back for all the talk about human rights and being nice to the poor? I don't think the Greeks mind though.

It was also nice to see that the Latvians chose a center-right governance that continues the reform policy and that the Russian inspired opposition did not complicate matters. They are complicated enough with the 18% drop in GDP that Latvia suffered as a result of the financial crisis. The Harmony Centre containing three parties The Harmony Party, The Socialist Party and The New Centre. It is led by the Mayor of Riga and consists mostly of the Russian speaking minority. According to The Financial Times the ruling coalition got 59% of the vote and The Harmony Centre got 25%. In other words, all things well in the Baltic Sea area.

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