People are rarely so indelicate as to draw attention to the fact, but the EU rests on the sufferance of the German taxpayer http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/daniel_hannan/blog/2009/02/26/will_the_euro_survive
Why do they put up with it? Well, at first the EU was a way to return to the comity of nations. Konrad Adenauer and his contemporaries believed that Germany would be allowed to become prosperous, powerful and, in time, united, only when her neighbours felt that she was, in a sense, their country, too. This calculation worked, and it has ruled German policy ever since. As Helmut Kohl put it in 1990. "German unification and European unification are two sides of the same coin".
But, as so often happens, the political class is clinging to a policy whose rationale has long since ceased to be relevant. Ordinary Germans can see this http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/daniel_hannan/blog/2007/08/23/brownmerkel_two_of_a_kind_?com_num=3D20&com_pg=3D2 .
So, turning to the question of the day: will German taxpayers consent to bail out Central and Eastern Europe? Will they respond, as they always have in the past, to the unspoken appeal to historical responsibility? Will they shell out in order to avert the Hungarian Prime Minister's threat that five million unemployed Magyars will thunder Westward across the plains and line up outside dole offices in Dusseldorf?
Maybe. But I wouldn't bet on it. The old incantations-the assertion, above all, that Europe was an antidote to aggressive nationalism-have lost their power. The Euro-shamans still chant them, but there is less and less response. The magic is fading. The dream is dying.