Debate: A petition of naivety
10 May 2012
"Ask not what Europe can do for you, but what you can do for Europe" – this is the theme of a manifesto signed by a group of European intellectuals, with the German Jürgen Habermas at the front, which triggered a response from the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, branding the proposal "naive and not to be repeated". At a time when "pensions and labour laws are violated and while demonstrations and riots spread from one member country to another" the only contribution that the manifesto proposes to rebuild the Union from the bottom up consists of "having the right to a sabbatical year of voluntary work in another EU country" quips the newspaper, which then asks:
Is the only response from these friends of Europe, when the Union is shuddering like the Titanic, that we must spend a little more time together so that we feel European?
And the newspaper concludes in the same tone: "It's probably no coincidence that this initiative is supported by the Allianz Group [a German insurance company] – one of Greece's main creditors."