It was an unusual night. Javier Solana and Enrique Iglesias, two unique characters of international politics, came together recently in Buenos Aires in space and time. A group of Argentines could walk with them in world politics, by the personalities of their leaders and the prospects of the international crisis. Solana was Minister Felipe Gonzalez (held different portfolios) for 13 years, secretary general of NATO for five and High Commissioner for European foreign policy for ten years. Iglesias was Uruguay’s foreign minister, president of the Inter-American Development Bank for 17 years and for six, owns American General Secretariat, based in Madrid, a post created by the presidents and heads of government of Ibero-American summits.
The first feature that shows two men of power is humility. It is not feigned. They talk as much as hear. Neither form nor his words indicate that they have crossed several times, all the peaks of this world. Invoke Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Mitterrand, Condoleeza Rice or Angela Merkel to the safety of those who have frequented. No word on Argentina and contingencies. Fledged diplomats.Only one question alone, some precision was lacking in the words of an Argentine. The Argentines were former foreign ministers, diplomats and some, few political leaders, summoned by the host, Adalberto Rodriguez Giavarini, president of the CARI (Argentine Council for International Relations).
Ten years as chancellor of Europe have turned Solana on one of the international political world with more knowledge from the recesses of Washingtonian power to palaces nestled amid the Arabian desert. Why was the European foreign ministry just as the chancellor assumed a more prominent and autonomous role, I asked an Argentine. “Ten years in the European Union and NATO in five years is a long time for anyone,” he says. He now lives in Madrid, but between frequent trips to New York, Paris, Washington, London or Berlin, where his opinions are always needed, sometimes urgently. “I’m going to Madrid just to change my shirt,” ironically. A fan of the new technologies of communication, as an apostle preaches the good news that now there are faster ways and more efficient to reach the books. Solana is the author of a phrase that has become classic therefore be repeated: “Perfection does not exist, and it’s fascist.”
Even a recent heart problem, which has already passed, has failed to stop the vibration of Churches intellectual, his curiosity for novelty and willingness to constantly travel from Mexico to Buenos Aires or from Tegucigalpa to San Pablo. In the years of great crisis in Argentina, he was president of the IDB. The then vice-powerful and severe Monetary Fund, Anne Krueger, decided to avoid the presence of churches. It was “Proargentina,” she says. “It was truer the accusation that I received in my life,” remembers and laughs now. Krueger door closed, Iglesias found new ways to open up shutters to other Argentine leaders at the summit of Washington, where they were sometimes rejected. The Argentina owes more than he has acknowledged.
“What if we call on the American who had an important role during the great crisis of the century to give them some lessons now the Europeans?” Enthuses Churches. Bring paper and a pen. Start taking hasty notes and write some names: Argentina Roberto Lavagna, the Brazilian Arminio Fraga, the Chilean Nicolas Eyzaguirre and former IMF official Stanley Fischer are among those that spring, inexhaustible, their imagination. “I will promote an encounter with the Europeans,” he announces.
The crisis. The heart of the crisis in Europe is the lack of employment, said Solana. Spain has 45% unemployed at the younger generation. The solution is political. “They are closing the hand in the short-term fiscal and opening in the medium. Should be the other way around,” suggests an Argentinean. “Europe is headed for a common economic policy, but the road is long,” said EU foreign minister. Churches involved: “The solution to unemployment is investment. The United States has been the engine of world economy in 60 years thanks to investment. But how to get investment in a world where people are afraid and do not spend?” No replies.
What you can expect to Europe then? “If they find a new solution, will wait a long way from very low economic growth or no, as that suffered by Japan from 1990 to 2003,” said Solana. “Yes, a Japanese free Japanese crisis,” participating churches. Europeans need not have the vocation of sacrifice and willingness to work the Japanese people. “The Europeans are taking their well-being and that will never be accepted with resignation,” anticipates Iberoamerican Secretary General.
The problem the U.S. is political, conclude the two. Barack Obama has very narrow margins to make fundamental decisions since the defeat in the last elections. The Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke has done what he had to do, said Solana, who was to pass the buck to the White House and Congress. “The Fed has done all he could do. Bernanke acted very well,” concedes Solana.
What about Europe? Nostalgia for a Europe with strong leadership and talented mix between the words of the two. They seem to yearn for Europe met in the same time as the French leadership Mitterrand, Helmut Kohl of Germany, Italy’s Romano Prodi, Spanish and English Felipe Gonzalez Margaret Thatcher. ¿Thatcher? “Yes, Thatcher was a safe and pragmatic leader, which is what seems to be missing now,” says Iglesias. The story makes no exceptions.
Solana is more cautious with Europe. After all, he was one of the fathers of the European Union.Church makes the synthesis: “The problem now is that there are two Europes. One is Saxon, Protestant and austere. The other is Hispanic, Catholic and sinful. The coexistence of these two Europes is now in conflict,” he explains. German times are melancholy Kohl most noticeable in two, now that Germany has become the country’s guardian and mentor of European economic policies.”Kohl wanted Europeanized Germany. Merkel seems to Germanize Europe. The difference between these two policies is huge,” said Iglesias.
China appears. Solana shudders of curiosity. How will the culture and the story so different to complement with the West? Can the West do without China? Can China do without the West?Formula those questions and surprised with the response. “Maybe in Latin America is the hinge of this integration between Asia and the West. We will never be easy for China supplemented directly with U.S. and less to Europe. There are very old histories and cultures and very different. Therein lies my optimism when I look to Latin America in the long term, “he explains.
Solana was born in the Spanish Socialist Party left and ended up as head of NATO, the North Atlantic military alliance, before taking over the European external relations. Churches came into the world as Chancellor of Uruguayan President Julio Maria Sanguinetti of the Colorado Party, an organization with an ideology that sways between the center and social democracy. However, he never failed to attend churches over the years Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez and Rafael Correa. Churches and Solana are old friends, almost complicit in the common world view. Politics is not for them only a jumble of warmth, but also a perfect craft for short distances the inevitable politics and life.
© La Nacion .
Comment by Adamantine:
We need someone with an excellent understanding of Spanish to interpret this to English. I am unsure if the reference to Church and churches is to religion or a person or both.