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Reply #41: Sikorski: German inaction scarier than Germans in action [View All]

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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #6
41. Sikorski: German inaction scarier than Germans in action

POLAND'S foreign-policy course over the past five years has been marked by two features: caution, and improving relations with Germany. But in a remarkable speech in Berlin yesterday Radek Sikorski, Poland's foreign minister, threw caution aside and made a dramatic appeal (couched more as a demand) to Germany. The speech made front-page news in the Financial Times, which also ran extracts as an op-ed.

The speech starts with a reference to the break-up of Yugoslavia, which Mr Sikorski (disclosure: a close friend of this author) witnessed as a journalist in 1991. The decision by Serbia to print its own dinars marked the end of the federal republic, and the path to a series of wars that killed 140,000 people, ruined the lives of millions more, and turned places that had once been among the most advanced bits of the "communist" world into impoverished backwaters.

Mr Sikorski (who studied philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford) then paid a nice tribute to the German philosopher Immanuel Kant, who highlighted the moral importance of money. Kant, he noted, had argued that:

'the entire practice of lending money presupposed at least the honest intention to repay. If this condition were universally ignored, the very idea of lending and sharing wealth would be undermined. For Kant, honesty and responsibility were categorical imperatives: the foundation of any moral order. For the European Union, likewise, these are the cornerstones. I would point to the two fundamental values: Responsibility and Solidarity. Our responsibility for decisions and processes. And Solidarity when it comes to bearing the burdens.'
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