Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn is sharply critical of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's push for an EU fiscal pact. In an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE, he says it won't hold up. Furthermore, big countries like Germany and France threaten the currency union with their egotism, he says.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Increasing numbers of people are losing their trust in the European Union and euroskeptic parties are gaining in popularity. Meanwhile politicians are caught up with petty bickering over rules. What is going wrong in Europe?
Asselborn: A few things are going wrong. But the European Union as a historic peace project is not in question. The motivation for its founding was to prevent the Europeans from waging war against each other. But the political dimension -- that is the entire economic, social, environmental or foreign policies -- these are currently not convincing the people.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Why not?
Asselborn: The things that are discussed and agreed upon in the EU are communicated to the people incorrectly or at least ambiguously through their government filters. Many governments present themselves to the voters as defenders of their national interests against the others. This way citizens often have the feeling that the EU and other EU members want to harm them or take something from them. The financial crisis has once again fatally brought this misunderstanding to a head.