Euroland: The new plutocracy

Wednesday, 30 May, 2012

The euro rises and falls In the light of recent events, it’s easy to laugh at the hubris expressed by the German newsweekly, Der Spiegel, 10 years ago when it titled its first issue of 2002, “Euroland: The new plutocracy“. There is something absurdly amusing about the magazine’s story on how the euro was conquering the UK. “Lots of British retailers accept the new currency,” gullible readers were informed. That was very much then. Today, British newspaper readers are waking up to headlines that read “Europe’s debtors must pawn their gold for Eurobond Redemption” and “Eurozone crisis: Spanish fears send euro near to two-year low against dollar“. Not exactly the kind of headlines the ardent advocates of Euroland imagined a decade ago when they dreamed of stealthily engulfing those stubborn islanders with their shiny new currency, eh?

Of course, the 2002 Der Spiegel cover has to be seen in context as the magazine is famous for mood swings that see it regularly lurching from virulent anti-Americanism to pathetic, parochial nationalism embellished with lots of leftist nonsense. Ultimately, Der Spiegel is populist and opportunistic and with Thilo Sarrazin’s Europa braucht den Euro nicht topping the German bestseller list, it won’t be long now before the magazine goes with the flow and delivers the coup de grâce to its former plutocratic love child.

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