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WRM To Europe

With the last class of the semester out of the way, I’m off for two weeks in Europe. I’ll be in Germany at some conferences and events this coming week, and then it’s off to St. Petersburg to give a talk at a conference at the Smolny Institute.

With any luck there will be time to slip out of the conferences to get a little art time; this is my first trip to St. Petersburg, and there is a lot there I haven’t seen.

I’ll do as much blogging as I can while on the road, and will be checking in frequently to see what the interns are doing to the blog while I’m gone. In both Germany and Russia I’ll have the chance to meet with some of the most interesting people thinking and writing about Europe today and hopefully I’ll hear some things that readers find useful.

We’ve been developing the Via Meadia team for several months now, and the next two weeks will test our ability to keep up our standards even when I’m heavily committed to other work. As always, feedback from readers is important; without you Via Meadia wouldn’t exist, and we — and I — genuinely want to know what you think.

During this stress test of the Via Meadia system, weekends will be the toughest time; on the advice of counsel we are letting the interns out of the holding pens to spend weekends with their families, so we will be a little shorthanded.

Even so, we’ll do our best to continue covering the big stories we see taking place in the US and the world, and, where we think it adds value, sharing our opinions about what we think it all means. I’ll be back in the USA on June 1, God willing; in the meantime, I hope all Via Meadia readers enjoy this lovely spring.

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  • Norman Roberts

    While you are in St. Petersburg, whatever else you do don’t miss the amber room in Catherine’s summer palace.

  • Pedro Marquez

    Maybe you can use this trip to get to the bottom of Germany’s paradoxical relationship to the euro.

    Many German elites seem to have an almost theological belief in the eurozone, as if Germany will once again become an aggressive, imperialist state without it. Hence the German mantra that “more Europe” is the solution to every problem. Yet the eurozone crisis is engendering resentment of Germany (since Germany is forcing it’s economic culture on everyone), while Europe’s democratic deficit is fueling the growth of the sort of populist/extremist parties (from France to Greece to the Netherlands) that “Europe” was supposed to prevent!

    At the same time, Germans have rational reasons to support the eurozone, since Germany has gained tangible economic benefits from the common currency (at the expense of the periphery). Yet precisely because of this, saving the eurozone will require massive wealth transfers for which German taxpayers will have to foot the bill.

    Throughout all this, many German elites have convinced themselves that if Greece reverts to the drachma, everything else can be managed and held together.

    It’s all enough to make one’s head explode, and wonder if Germany, despite all her recent success, is in denial about where things are headed.

  • Kris

    “WRM To Europe”

    Ford to City.

    Pedro@2: If I may simplify your presentation of (elite) German attitudes:
    1. If we allow our currency to weaken, it will be Weimar redux, and the Nazis will come back.
    2. If we don’t cooperate and even merge with our neighbors, we will slide back to a Nazi-like attitude.
    3. Many of our neighbors are demanding a weaker currency.

    Quite the conundrum.

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