I belong to the – still many – people who were grown up in Europe before the EU. I still remember the beauty of differences. The identity of a people should never get lost.
However, I also remember how small every country was – not only as a territory, but as everything. People thought small, there was the “chaotic Italian”, the “underdeveloped Spanish”, the “Third-World-nation called Portugal”, the “arrogant British”, the “ugly German”, the “chauvinist French”. Not much differences were made between the single inidivduals of a country. It were just “the others”.
We had long queues at the frontiers and passport controls. We were different, sometimes curious, sometimes hostile, and more than everything: absolute strangers.
There were lots of different currencies on a relatively small territory some of which with no power at all, and you could buy with few money the most beautiful things in those countries. The currency to buy all this with was – the US dollar. Everything was orientated with the dollar. It was the strongest currency and gave the U.S. the position of an economical rainmaker – what the U.S. wanted, was usually done in the Western world. Of cause, America had no interest in a strong Euro!
The countries that have lots of problems today were not competitive at that time either, and had economical problems and no hope to ever get a better status.
People forget so fast. A problem at home – and what was is forgotten and better than the present, exactly like the grass is always greener on the neighbor’s meadow than at home.
This is the message I would love to leave for all those who run now after the so called “Europe-sceptics” that manipulate people exactly like all the others, promising benefits from the destruction of the EU that could actually have catastrophic consequences.
For me, personally, there would be no reason anymore to stay in Europe if this happens. The spoiled European idea was once created to assure peace on the continent. It is now used to create exactly the opposite. I can well give up on unwillingly participating in eventual conflicts in Europe in the future, and I have no interest in a small thinking, nationalist Europe at all.