Joschka Fischer, former German foreign secretary and key architect of the ever-closer ‘federal’ union, has laughed off British Prime Minister David Cameron’s plans to reform the European Union.
Despite the warm welcome German Chancellor Angela Merkel showed Cameron during his tour of Europe over the past week, in which almost all national and EU leaders gave him the cold shoulder, Fisher said there was no chance of her actually supporting him on his ‘shopping list’ of changes. Fischer told the BBC while Cameron was preoccupied with EU reform, other key players on the continent could hardly care less:
“Angela Merkel will do nothing which will endanger the basic principles of the common market, of the EU, and she has a much bigger problem to address – how to find a compromise in the currency union with Greece. That’s her priority number one now”.
Fischer said it was “wishful thinking” to assume Cameron could make any headway on reforming the EU, and that it was an “illusion” that Britain’s large payments into the EU budget would mean it could expect any form of special treatment. The comments will no doubt dismay Cameron, who wants the UK to stay in Europe and will argue for the status quo if any sort of change is achieved in his renegotiations.
Starting his political career in ultra-violent student protest groups such as the Proletarian Union for Terror and Destruction, Fischer later renounced violence and rose to become one of the most important and respected men in German. A dedicated Europhile, after retiring from German politics last decade he renewed his interest in European federalism, calling for a “United States of Europe” at the height of the Euro-Crisis.
He went on in the same interview to call the concern of euro-sceptics regarding losing sovereignty to the European Union “amusing”.