It seems that the future of the EU will become clear in 2015 while Germany has recently divulged what kind of an EU it wants. For us, the Greek legislative elections, which will take place on Jan. 25, constitute a matter of debate over the future of the EU. Germany and incumbent Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras share almost the same sentiments about the elections.
Samaras says that if the main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) wins the elections, it will drag Greece into bankruptcy and push the country out of the EU. The German government has also put forth that it is inevitable that Greece will secede from the eurozone if SYRIZA comes to power.
According to a news report from Der Spiegel magazine, which cites German government circles, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Federal Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble consider Greece's secession from the eurozone as a surmountable matter. This means that Germany is working on such a scenario: Greece will firstly secede from the eurozone and then it will break away from the EU. Previously, Germany persistently argued that Greece should remain in the eurozone. The former Papademos government and incumbent Samaras government uncompromisingly implemented the neo-liberal economic policies of Germany, which in return meant they wanted Greece to remain in the eurozone.
However, the Greek people do not share the same opinion as the Samaras government and Germany regarding the solution of crisis; they do not think it is possible to overcome the crisis with further austerity measures and current economic policies, which has given SYRIZA the lead in opinion polls. SYRIZA vows that if it comes to power, it will elude the policies imposed by Germany and Troika and switch to a new social policy to resolve the crisis. This is not the desire of SYRIZA alone. The governments of all the world's developing countries, regardless of whether they are leftist or rightist, are suggesting a new and different way from the neo-liberal policies that have so far been imposed on them. The economic policies put forward by Argentinean, Chilean, Brazilian and Turkish governments strive to get out of neo-liberal austerity policies and find unique economic policies. Aside from SYRIZA, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron has essentially said that Europe cannot continue with the policies inflicted by Germany.
Just days before a meeting in London with Merkel, Cameron said during an interview with the Daily Mail that if the U.K. cannot exert more control over some policies that he describes as "red lines," he is determined to hold the 2017 EU referendum. Cameron notes that Germany wanted the U.K. to remain in the EU, saying "If I don't get what is needed I rule nothing out." Here, what Cameron wants are expansionary reforms that would help them escape the German-centric and ever-narrowing EU. The U.K. wants the whole EU to be engaged in a new social system with new policies to resolve the crisis.
Cameron said, "The key areas are safeguarding the single market, getting out of ever closer union, being able to veto regulations and a package of measures on welfare." At this point, it is possible to say that the U.K. and U.S. should act in unison, putting forth an EU which that expands toward its east, including Turkey, against Russia's Eurasian Union project. On the other hand, Germany yearns for a Europe, which would exclude Greece when it cannot control it, let alone including Turkey. In other words, Germany wants a completely closed Europe. In this sense, the result of Greek elections will be an answer to the question of "what kind of an EU" lies ahead for Europe.
EU-Turkey relations will develop on this main axis in 2015. If SYRIZA is elected in Greece, Germany will not only relinquish Greece, it will opt for freezing ties with Turkey regarding its accession to the EU. Therefore, Germany would turn a blind eye to such racist movements as the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (PEGIDA) and help such movements spread throughout Europe.
It is apparent that for Germany, the criterion of being "European" is not a religious one like being Christian, nor is it a geographical-cultural one like being easterner or westerner. What is being European for Germany is about unconditionally obeying its neo-liberal policies that would make its own hegemony and current crisis-shaken Europe absolute.
Pay attention to Germany! It will throw its own people and the whole of Europe in the fire as it did in the first half of the 20th century.