Mark Leonard

The revenge of the German elite

By Mark Leonard
February 4, 2014

This week, Germany’s foreign policy establishment struck back against a public they say has become increasingly insular, self-satisfied and pacifist. In surprisingly blunt language, German President Joachim Gauck took to the stage last Friday at the Munich Security Conference to declare: “While there are genuine pacifists in Germany, there are also people who use Germany’s guilt for its past as a shield for laziness or a desire to disengage from the world.”

Merkel’s anti-mandate

By Mark Leonard
September 24, 2013

Rarely in politics has a landslide election produced so little clarity about the country’s future. Rather than provide a mandate for the direction of Germany or Europe, this week’s election has muddied the political waters.

Revolt of the technocrats

By Mark Leonard
April 17, 2013

BERLIN ‑ Of the most dangerous sentences a politician can utter, one must be, “There is no alternative.” Or, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel says, the situation is alternativlos.

from The Great Debate:

The dark flip side of European technocracy

By Mark Leonard
May 31, 2012

How many countries will Germany need to bail out before it has erased the guilt of the Holocaust? That is the provocative question posed by Thilo Sarrazin, a publicity-hungry maverick whose 2010 book attacking immigration shattered Germany’s political consensus and sold more than 1 million copies. Last week he returned to the scene of the crime with a new book called Why Europe Doesn't Need the Euro. In a much-quoted passage, he says supporters of eurobonds are driven “by that very German reflex according to which atonement for the holocaust and the world wars will never be complete until we have delivered our entire public interest, and even our money, into European hands.” This title has raced to the top of best-seller lists and sent jittery markets into panic. Sarrazin is a narcissist who is more interested in self-promotion than serious analysis. But his views on Europe – as well as the political class’s reaction to them – tell us a lot about how the euro’s political travails have come about, as well as how they are likely to unfold.