The European Union was founded in order to put an end to the political and economical problems which had engulfed Europe in constant cycles of war and peace and culminated in the two world wars. The intention was to replace rivalry and attempts for domination with cooperation and harmony among nation-states. The left-leaning founders of the EU made a good and promising start, as the democratic principles found their place in European laws that would coordinate the states' relationships. Then the euro currency was introduced to remove internal barriers for turning EU countries into a single giant market and to rival the dollar as an international currency with systematic positional advantage. For that to work, however, EU countries have had to let go of much of their economic sovereignty to have shared sovereignty over the currency. The European Central Bank was established to control the value of the currency, mainly through interest rates. Nevertheless, it soon became clear that the sovereignty lost by weaker EU economies was in effect gained by the strongest: Germany and France. Although the EU had a democratic structure, laws and procedures, it became clear who the real bosses were, and that as an unwritten rule all the EU countries were toeing the line.
From the beginning it was clear that the joint leaders were not equal; Germany has a stronger economy and France, while keeping a facade of equal leadership, has had to play the junior role in this power sharing. As the German economy grew stronger, mainly as a result of controlling the Euro, France's became weaker but resisted operating within Germany's economic rules. Germany realized that its junior partner was becoming more a source of irritation than a co-operator. The main source of irritation, however, came from the EU project itself. Its initial goals of cooperation and harmony came up against the gradual domination of neo-liberal ideology, which were transforming the project into one of Germany's domination over Europe. In it, Germany saw Greece's mismanaged and corrupt economy, which was robbed for the foreseeable future of all hope for recovery as a result of the imposition of five years of severe austerity, as an opportunity to teach the rest of the EU - and primarily France - a lesson in not stepping outside of what the German government dictates. In other words, the German government has decided that it does not need partners anymore and can become the sole master of Europe on its own terms. In that sense, Yanis Varoufakis, the combative former Greece finance minister who was forced to resign, was right when he wrote that the "German finance minister (Schäuble) wants Greece to be pushed out of the single currency to put the fear of God into the French and have them accept his model of a disciplinarian Eurozone.
However, it seems that the actual explanation goes much deeper, since Germany not only wants to force this model of a disciplinarian Eurozone, but, as the rule of domination dictates, needs to turn France and other EU countries. In other words, it wants the Euro to do what the German tanks could not do in WW2.
Like in other empires, there is a Roman belief that in order for domination to work, the dominated have to be humiliated and internalize their humiliation so that when power over others turns into domination, the imperial power should feel safe in its position. This is what Germany is trying to do to Greece. This is why Paul Krugman, the Nobel-prize winning economist, wrote that the creditors' demand on Greece went beyond harshness into pure vindictiveness, [leading to the] complete destruction of national sovereignty [with ] no hope of relief." And added: ""It's a grotesque betrayal of everything the European project was supposed to stand for."
Thousands of twitters described the German action as a coup.
One financial analyst among others described it as the deal was worse than 1919 Treaty of Versailles, when after Germany's defeat the country was deeply humiliated, and this provided the precondition for the rise of Hitler.
Whether Germany will be successful in dominating Europe depends on the amount of resistance to this attempt. However, one thing from now on is clear: the EU project is being mortally wounded by one of its main founders and has lost its ethical legitimacy. Can it be salvaged? It all depends on the amount of resistance which the progressive forces which still believe in the dream of the EU can offer.