Listening to him talk, I got the feeling that his reality was much more British weighted than reality itself is.
Germany is the most important country in Europe both economically and demographically and as the journalist pointed out they are no longer docilely following the traditional, "Russia out, America in and Germany down" script. And as the journalist also mentioned, if there is any bailing out to be done in countries like Greece or points east, it will be the Germans who do the bailing. It seems to me that this adds up to a very German slant to things in the near future. Who else is there, when you really come down to it?
As the journalist also pointed out, the euro-skeptic Tories who detest the EU are set to win the next UK election and if we add to this that the British economy is now like some cratered giant Iceland and its financial industry disgraced (manufacturing left ages ago)... then except for Tommy Atkins, what else has Britain got left to sell, lease or rent?
As for the French, Sarkozy has tardo-Bush popularity levels and his enthusiasm for NATO and Afghanistan are not shared by the French people in any poll I've seen.
Except for the British government and Sarkozy does anybody anywhere in Europe in their right mind really want to see the Germans getting militarized ever again?
Since Af-Pak is going down the drain, at this very moment, the German reluctance to get any deeper involved in the coming debacle makes quite a bit of sense.
I would argue that the official German position fits EU public opinion better than either Britain's or France's.
So to sum up, the Germans are paying the piper and they are no longer reluctant to call the tunes. That for better or worse is the EU of today and tomorrow and the crisis is going to enhance that. They have the money, the population and their policies are more in tune with European public opinion... What could be more obvious? DS