Disillusion is perhaps the better word, come to think of it. This certainly isn’t the best way to start your week. Long believing, hoping that all of this is somehow only just a horror movie (it’s only a movie, it’s only a movie…), the reality bites from the financial crisis meltdown have now bitten Germany in the behind, too.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has had to jump in where no German angel (Angela, get it?) has dared to tread before and pulled the emergency brakes as the country’s Hypo Real Estate bank threatens to collapse, the government now guaranteeing extremely nervous Germans that it will keep their savings safe, honest. This failed to impress the German stock market however, as it is taking a nose dive and has reached, for the moment, its lowest level since 2006.

Nor did the emergency EU summit on the weekend reassure anybody over here. It has only shown, yet again, how helpless a non-unified Europe is when strong and immediate action is needed, action which will not be forthcoming (this time) because Germany choose to veto a French proposal to launch an EU-wide rescue package. The Germans suspect that any rescue fund would obligate German taxpayers into paying colossal transfers of wealth to other European countries less financially disciplined than theirs.

They are right, of course, but are caught in the middle nonetheless. Just because you are right doesn’t mean it exempts you from having to do the right thing. Or as one British commentator put it more bluntly: “It is too late now for dysfunctional EU political games. By demanding that those who caused the damage should pay for it, she crossed the line into caricature, or worse.”

And further: “The European Central Bank – which raised rates into the teeth of the crisis in July – has played a shockingly destructive role in this enveloping slump. Its growth predictions this year have been, and still are, delusional. Neglecting its global role, it has vastly complicated the fire-fighting efforts of Washington. It could have offered cover to the US Federal Reserve this spring when Ben Bernanke was forced by events to slash rates to 2pc. It could at least have signaled an end to monetary tightening. That is how an ally ought to behave.”

Well a lot of us ought to have behaved differently these past few years it seems. But that was then and this is now. At least it looks like we are all real allies at the moment, Germany and the rest of Europe and whoever joins in tomorrow, allies in agony, whether we like it or not. It’s only a movie.

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