Isn’t it remarkable how establishment European politicians speak common sense once they have lost power and are about to begin their long slide into oblivion? Martin Schulz just copied that pattern with his passionate federalist speech and his pronouncement that “the EU cannot afford another four years of German European policy à la Wolfgang Schäuble”.
Pity that when his party was in government, and had the numbers in the Bundestag (in association with Die Linke and the Greens) to put an end to Schäuble’s throttling of Greece, which was Wolfgang’s signal to the rest of Europe that a federal-like union was out of the question, Mr Gabriel and Mr Schulz chose to play the ‘good cop’ alongside Schäuble’s bad cop.
Pity that during the pre-election campaign last summer Mr Schulz remained mute on Europe and, indeed, sided with Schäuble to kill off President Macron’s proposals for a Eurozone budget (counter-offering a toxic European Monetary Fund, effectively Schäuble’s idea of installing the troika across Europe, including Paris).
“Better late than never”, some will say. True. But make no mistake dear reader: Mr Schulz’s sudden burst of Europeanism is intended as a tactical move to bring the SPD into another arid coalition with Angela Merkel – whose first move will be to kill off all aspirations to European federalism.