Break’s Over.

My gentle readers, the break’s over. And now that my little quasi-diary is actually back online, I would like to formally introduce a blog I know many of you have been checking out occasionally during the past few weeks – A Fistful Of Euros.

I am grateful to have been asked to be a part of this attempt to aid in creating a common European public sphere, or rather, let’s be a bit more realistic, in creating a common European blogosphere. So far, the venture has been surprisingly successful.

I have no idea how I am going to divide my writing between “almost a diary” and “AFOE” and I may also repost stuff from AFOE here and vice versa, as I regard this page as some kind of personal online publishing archive.

Believe it or not, the last few weeks of severly reduced writing were actually rather refreshing, I have to say. But as all holidays must come to an end, so is this. And just in time for what will most likely become one of the most interesting periods in German Parliamentary history.

There is a short window of opportunity for real change, now that the next Laender-elections won’t take place until next summer. This time, the German political class is serious about showing that decisive action can be taken without destroying what little is left of civic spirit among all of us.

Schroeder clearly has the hardest task in this game. He’s got to fight a two-front battle against his own party’s loony left and the opposition’s intention to make this battle harder than necessary by not allowing him to shine as the savior of the welfare state. The CDU/CSU is running a dangerous strategy though. Germany is not Bavaria. And there won’t be general elections for another three years. It’s certainly too early too tell what the real economic effects of the initial social security reform acts are going to be.

But there’s a real chance that they will enhance growth in 2006 when it matters. And guess to whom it would be attributed.