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And the Weak Suffer What They Must?: Europe's Crisis and America's Economic Future by Yanis Varoufakis

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CHAPTER 2

AN INDECENT PROPOSAL

Kurt Schmücker was not a man to give in to strong emotions. But on the morning of March 23, 1964, he could hardly trust his ears and only barely managed to contain his astonishment.

As Germany’s minister of the economy,1 Herr Schmücker was used to meeting regularly with his French counterpart, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, President Charles de Gaulle’s finance minister and a man who would, ten years later, become president of France himself. So when Giscard dropped by his Bonn office for a two-hour chat, Minister Schmücker was relaxed, anticipating another anodyne meeting, like all the previous ones—an effort to put on a show of European unity between the two erstwhile foes shouldering the burden of constructing a ...

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