German sociologist and philosopher Jürgen Habermas is said to be "one of the world's leading intellectuals". However, when it comes to the current euro crisis and the EU in general, he is nothing but a naive dilettante:
It's worth repeating again and again: The suboptimal conditions under which the European Monetary Union operates today are the result of a design flaw, namely that the political union was never completed. That's why pushing the problems onto the shoulders of the crisis-ridden countries with credit financing isn't the answer. The imposition of austerity policies cannot correct the existing economic imbalances in the euro zone. An assimilation of the different levels in productivity in the mid-term could only be expected from a joint, or at least closely coordinated, fiscal, economic and social policy. And if we then, in the course of countervailing policies, don't wish to completely turn into a technocracy, we must ask the public what they think about a democratic core Europe. Wolfgang Schäuble knows this. He says as much in SPIEGEL interviews, which, however, have no consequences for his political behavior.
European policy is in a trap that the political sociologist Claus Offe has sharply illuminated: If we do not want to give up the monetary union, an institutional reform, which takes time, is both necessary and unpopular. This is why politicians who hope to be re-elected are kicking the can down the road. The German government, in particular, is in a double bind, because it has already assumed pan-European responsibility through its actions. It is also the only government that can take a promising initiative for a step forward -- and should pursue France's support for such a process. It isn't a trifling project, after all, but one into which Europe's most prominent politicians have invested their best efforts for more than half a Century.
Read the entire article here
Of course Habermas is right about the design flaw with regard the euro. However, he should know that neither the Germans, nor the peoples of the other EU countries will accept a federal European state. Habermas accuses Angela Merkel of "soporific bumbling", but in reality he is himself the bumbler. Instead of stating clearly that he wants Germans (and others) to give up their national sovereignty, Habermas mumbles about "a democratic core Europé", "institutional reform" and "pan-European responsibility". Not very convincing!