January 2011: The heart of the matter

Michael Stürmer, one of the new 2011 recruits to the now 54-strong OMFIF Advisory Board, is one of Germany’s best-known contemporary historians and political scientists. He terms the European sovereign debt crisis and the trials over economic and monetary union (EMU) a challenge to European integration similar to the upheavals caused by the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall. This time, though, he wrote in an editorial in Die Welt newspaper on 7 January, the US will not be engaged to help the Europeans overcome their difficulties; Europe is on its own. John Kornblum, a former US ambassador to Germany and another new member of the board (a complete list is on p.28) sees the turbulence in a similar historical light. Kornblum is well aware of the political and economic significance of the EMU project for trans- Atlantic ties. As a long-time State Department official, shortly before the introduction of the euro in 1999, Kornblum visited European capitals on a mission aimed at toning down the instinctively anti-euro feelings of the administration of President Bill Clinton and the then chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan.

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