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Trouble with the Germans . . .

October 12th, 1996

A letter to the Daily Telegraph which was published on 12th October 1996.

One wonders what Professor Cameron Watt means when he asserts that “two generations of German leaders” have established “a democracy at least the equal of ours”, and “whose politicians seem more responsive to the anxieties of the electorate” than ours are.

How do you measure democracy in fact?  Has contemporary German democracy really been tested by the sort of harsh economic conditions which the post-1919 Germany democracy had to endure?

As a recent visitor to Germany, the one actual measurement I saw was the poll which showed that about two-thirds of the German people were opposed to giving up their currency in favour of the euro.  But Mr Kohl has decided that, come what may, they shall give it up.  Not much democracy there!