Clashes with police outside the United States embassy in Cairo, Egypt, September 13 2012.
Europe is living through a strange and insidious era, according to the Greek writer Petros Markaris: the only ones who are speaking of the crises rocking the continent are the economists and central bankers.
The upshot is that it’s the single currency that is becoming the essence of the Union – not an instrument, but its raison d'être, its sole purpose. The unity of the EU, Markaris writes, has been supplanted by the unity of the eurozone. Today we live in a Europe where only politicians and economists have the floor. “This is why the debate is so superficial, like most of Europe’s leaders, and one-dimensional, like the traditional discourse of economists.” Lacking a worldview, Europe has interests but no passions, and can be divided only into noble creditors and plebeian debtors. “We are headed,” he says, “towards a European civil war mentality.”
Like a sudden shot in the silence, a new earthquake is rumbling across the Muslim countries in the form of a broad offensive by Islamic fundamentalism against the West and its execrable videos: the violence is intensifying in the Mediterranean, and Europe, wholly occupied by its domestic affairs, is suddenly grasping that outside its doorstep bombs are raining down.
Satisfied, after the Arab Spring she dozed off, and is now waking to winter. The liberations, she had imagined, meant freedom – only to discover that revolutions are always preceded by fundamentalist sparks before they produce stable institutions and constitutions. Like Caliban in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the protesters cried out at us: “You taught me language; and my profit on't is, I know how to curse. The red plague rid you, for learning me your language!”