While Greece certainly deserves its share of the blame for the euro crisis, Germany and France are also responsible to a large extent, argues Olaf Gersemann, economics columnist for Die Welt and a regular contributor to the Advisor. Gersemann contends that by acting in the name of monetary integration, Germany and France pushed Greece and others into living beyond their means via the strength of the euro, leading to the current crisis. This essay appeared in the June 19, 2011, edition of Welt am Sonntag and is available in German only.

When Germany elected a new government on 27 September 2009, it did so not with an eye to the party, economic, or political successes of the previous sixty years. Rather, the election displayed a startling realignment of the party system. This election, occurring as it did in the middle of a celebration of sixty years of the Federal Republic of Germany, can perhaps be seen as the beginning of a new period of German politics, and its impact on transatlantic relations will continue to be seen…