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In the continuing euro crisis it may be instructive to analyze why the eurozone nations have got themselves into this appalling mess. The root cause was expressed centuries ago in the story of the Pied Piper. This is undoubtedly THE German myth — “myth” in the Jungian sense of a basic truth.

The Pied Piper plays a captivating, hypnotic tune and the children follow him down the garden path. The children are of course the Germans, and we know what happened in 1933-45 when they came under the hypnotic influence of the Piper. They have been rehabilitated since then and shown they can be trusted with more than a popgun, yet they are still susceptible to grandiose schemes, soaring Wagnerian fantasies and “sculpting the mist” as they put it in their own language.

The euro was doomed from the very minute the Germans let Italy join the eurozone. They should have known from experience that being allied with Italy in anything is a one-way ticket to a horror show, and after Italy joined, they had to admit every (Mediterranean) man and his dog, with the results you see now.

It was a serious denial of reality ever to believe that the new currency would be strengthened by tacking on to Germany a number of recurrently moribund and unstable economies.

It must be intensely irritating to the Germans that British skepticism over the euro has been eventually proven right. They need to purge themselves, however, of their lamentable susceptibility to delusions of grandeur and start to dismantle, as painlessly as possible, the ramshackle eurozone.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

barry andrew ward

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