The Corner

Insult to Injury

Germany, loaded with cash, recently upped its retirement age to 67. Nearby France, almost insolvent, lowered its retirement age from 62 to 60 for certain workers. The former is supposed to lend cash to broke EU members, the latter not only cannot, but needs some itself. The above paradox is not really a financial problem; it is a political disaster in the making. France is sending an ultimatum that its own citizens will work seven fewer years than Germans to enjoy the good life, while Germans — replete with historical baggage — not only will pay for it by giving up their retirement years, but ought to pay for it. Given the other overt and implicit EU member insults to Germany, the greatest German backlash in the last 80 years is not a matter of if, but when. And the longer it is repressed, the more explosively it will erupt.

Victor Davis Hanson — NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won.

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