"'For the first time in the history of the EU, the Germans are now in charge. But they are also more isolated than before [with other nations resentful of German austerity demands],' said Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform thinktank. 'The British are certainly more marginal than before. Their influence has never been lower in my lifetime'" (Ian Traynor, "As the Dust Settles, a Cold New Europe With Germany in Charge Will Emerge," Dec. 13, 2011).
Of course, the leaders of the EU are more typically deemed to be Germany and France, with Britain often seen as obstructionist.
For several decades following World War II, Germany appeared content to let France largely assume the reins of leadership, particularly with regard to European Union affairs. But in recent years their partnership has been more equal, and the pendulum now even swings toward the Fatherland.
Philip Stevens, a leading columnist for the Financial Times, wrote: "Germany will have to learn leadership, and France followship...The rules of the European game changed forever with the reunification of Germany. It has taken the euro crisis to spell out the brutal implications" ("Now the Franco-German Question," Dec. 9, 2011).
As was stated in The New York Times, "'The Germans had a strategic insight or advantage to let the crisis get to the threshold within the European Union necessary for France to be willing to hand over the kind of sovereignty the country has always resisted,' said Jacob Funk Kirkegaard of the Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. 'You could say that the crisis has either been the wake-up call or the tool that Germany has used to beat them into submission'" (Nicholas Kulish, "Euro Crisis Pits Germany and U.S. in Tactical Fight," Dec. 11, 2011).
It could even be said that Germany decided to, in the words of other political leaders, not let a serious crisis go to waste: "'This is the breakthrough to the stability union,' German Chancellor Angela Merkel said. 'We are using the crisis as an opportunity for a renewal'" ("Europe Forges Fiscal Union, Sees Way Out of Crisis," Associated Press, Dec. 9).
Just where are all these confusing events in Europe really headed? Biblical prophecy shows that leaders of 10 nations (or groups of nations) will give power to a ruthless but charismatic dictatorial leader—the Bible referring to him and the empire he rules over as "the beast" (Revelation 17:12-13). His authority and influence will be global (Revelation 13:7).
To understand much more, request or download our free booklets The Book of Revelation Unveiled and Are We Living in the Time of the End? (Sources: The Sunday Telegraph, The Times [both London], International Herald Tribune.)