The return of the German question: why conflict between creditor and debtor states is now the defining feature of European politics

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Series Details 26.01.15
Publication Date 26/01/2015
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One of the key geopolitical issues in Europe prior to the Second World War was how the power of Germany could be effectively balanced by other European states. Hans Kundnani assesses the relevance of these historical debates to the current situation within Europe in the aftermath of the Eurozone crisis. He argues that while Germany is no longer a threat from a military perspective, its economic power has put intolerable pressures on other members of the Eurozone, generating instability in much the same way as its previous military power once did. This instability is now centred around the standoff between creditor and debtor countries, underlined by the victory of Syriza in the Greek parliamentary elections in January 2015, and potential future electoral success for parties such as Podemos in Spain.

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ESO: Background information: SYRIZA heads for historic victory but without majority
IPPR: Juncture, 03.09.13: The dilemma at the heart of Europe: Germany and the German question

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