The historian rejects the idea that his book has had a direct influence on Merkel’s policies. But many sections of the work – on globalisation, migration and technology, to name a few pertinent topics – read differently in the light of decisions she has made since reading it, such as the treatment of Greece at the height of the eurozone crisis.
If Europe was able to pull ahead of China economically in the 19th century, Osterhammel argues, it was because the Chinese empire was hampered by a “chaotic dual system” of silver and copper coins, while much of Europe had created a “de facto single currency” with the Latin monetary union of 1866.
But, but, but…..the Latin monetary union turned out to be a disaster. And she’s using this to guide her view of the euro?