Luxembourg: Prime Minister sees war clouds looming in Europe

politics | Mar 12, 2013 | By Martin Barillas

 

Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg warned in a magazine interview that war clouds are threatening to produce a conflict similar to the First World War, which began nearly 99 years ago and that pitted the nations of the continent against each other and permanently changed its social and political order. Speaking to German news magazine, Der Spiegel, Prime Minister Juncker said that the Euro was indeed about "forging peace" but a number of European states are returning to a "regional and national mindset." Juncker once led the Euro Group of eurozone ministers said "The way some German politicians have lashed out at Greece when the country fell into the crisis has left deep wounds there."  He added, "I was just as shocked by the banners of protesters in Athens that showed the German chancellor in a Nazi uniform." 
 
Referring to the resurgence of right-wing nationalism in Greece and the recent elections in Italy, Juncker warned "Sentiments suddenly surfaced that we thought had been finally relegated to the past. The Italian election was also excessively anti-German and thus un-European."
 
Junker said that "anyone who believes that the eternal issue of war and peace in Europe has been permanently laid to rest could be making a monumental error". He also said, "The demons haven't been banished; they are merely sleeping, as the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo have shown us. I am chilled by the realization of how similar circumstances in Europe in 2013 are to those of 100 years ago." He sees "obvious parallels with regard to people's complacency" about the situation the continent found itself in.
 
"In 1913, many people believed that they would never again be a war in Europe. The great powers of the Continent were economically so strongly intermeshed that there was the widespread opinion that they could simply no longer afford to engage in military conflicts," he said.

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