Other Bilderberg members are Helmut Schmidt, Gerhard Schröder, Angela Merkel and Peer Steinbrück.
Get the picture Germany?
Your leaders are selected, not elected.
Just like in the US.
Helmut Kohl, Germany’s former chancellor, has admitted that he acted like a “dictator” to bring in the single currency to the country, otherwise he “would have lost” had he held a referendum.
– Helmut Kohl: I acted like a dictator to bring in the euro (Telegraph, April 9, 2013):
In an interview conducted for a journalist’s PhD thesis, Germany’s longest-serving postwar chancellor said that he would have lost any popular vote on the euro by an overwhelming majority.
“I knew that I could never win a referendum in Germany,” he said. “We would have lost a referendum on the introduction of the euro. That’s quite clear. I would have lost and by seven to three.”
The interview was conducted by Jens Peter Paul, a German journalist in 2002, the year when the Deutsche Mark was replaced by euro notes and coins, but has only been published now.
In it, Mr Kohl describes adopting the euro as an emblem of the European project, which he said had prevented war on the continent. Born in 1930, Mr Kohl’s politics were shaped by his country’s history in the 1930s and 1940s; his final years in power were focused on promoting European unity.
In the interview, he said: “If a Chancellor is trying to push something through, he must be a man of power. And if he’s smart, he knows when the time is ripe. In one case – the euro – I was like a dictator … The euro is a synonym for Europe. Europe, for the first time, has no more war.”
Mr Kohl justified overcoming the German public’s reluctance to relinquish the Deutsche Mark by saying that democratic politics had to be based on convictions rather than the ebb and flow of elections.
“Political life is like this – elections go back and forth. Representative democracy can only be successful if one sits down and says – ‘that’s it. I will connect myself’ – as I did – ‘connect my existence to a political project.’ Then you automatically have in your party a lot of people who say: ‘if that fails, so do I’.”
Mr Kohl, who won four general elections in a row, had intended to hand over to his successor in the middle of his final term, but changed his mind because of uncertainty over the introduction of the euro, he disclosed.
He stated in the interview that he thought Wolfgang Schaeuble – who is now Germany’s finance minister but was his anointed successor at the time – lacked the political authority to handle the change.
“Schaeuble is a highly gifted man, there’s no disputing that, but this was not a matter for a newcomer. It had to be someone with total authority.”
The former German leader, who led the country for 16 years, is now confined to a wheelchair after suffering a stroke in combination with a fall.
In the interview, Mr Kohl said that much of the resistance in Germany was to the idea of a currency union without an economic and fiscal union. The lack of fiscal union underpinning the single currency is the heart of Europe’s current debt crisis.
In recent weeks, a new Eurosceptic party has formed in Germany to challenge the political orthodoxy that Europe’s biggest economy must stay in the Eurozone. Alternative for Germany hopes to draw on support from the quarter of German voters, who say in polls that they would consider voting for an anti-euro party. The party’s founder Bernd Lucke, an economist, advocates the progressive dissolution of the euro – with southern European countries leaving immediately.