Europe’s Lack of Discipline — George Will

WASHINGTON — When Chancellor Angela Merkel decided that Germany would pay part of Greece’s bills, voters punished her party in elections in Germany’s most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia. How appropriate.

The 1648 Peace of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years’ War, ratified Europe’s emerging system of nation-states. Since the end of the Thirty-One Years’ War (1914-1945), European elites have worked at neutering Europe’s nationalities. Greece’s debt crisis reveals this project’s intractable contradictions, and the fragility of Western Europe’s postwar social model — omniprovident welfare states lacking limiting principles.

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