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Seibt, Gustav

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3 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | 04/05/2010

Gustav Seibt on Europe's keen interest in the crisis

The rescue of the Greek budget is stirring up more emotion among German citizens than any other European policy issue before it. Historian Gustav Seibt sees this as the first stirrings of a European public sphere and writes in the left-liberal daily Süddeutsche Zeitung: "The Germans are taking a burning interest in every detail of the Greek pension system. The facts about the systematic statistics and subsidies fraud committed by Athens and tolerated by Brussels are taking on explosive democratic dimensions. ... Neither the awareness of a common language and culture nor the fiction of a joint historical destiny can be so easily projected from the national to the European level. This means that Europe as a 'project' must be able to rely on its material success even more than traditional democracies working within the nation state framework. If the uninhibited euro nationalism that is being unleashed in readers' comments in online newspapers becomes domesticated and politicised it could become a strong driving force for Europe. Whichever way you look at it, the 'elite project' Europe is over and done with, but perhaps Europe has the chance to become a project of the masses now. However, as is always the case when the masses gain influence over politics, there will always be a certain amount of demagogy."

Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | 11/12/2008

Compulsory religion classes?

Compulsory religious education is being considered for schools in Berlin. The Süddeutsche Zeitung prefers well-planned religious teaching to pseudo-secularism. "The Christian churches react to such ideas by arguing for public Islamic religious teaching. Religious freedom must be something positive, they say. It is not just the absence of impediments, but needs active support, especially in education. Moreover, a purely secular ethic is less neutral than it seems on first glance. As long as the Muslim part of society tends to live more piously than the nominally Christian, state secularism can seem imposed from above. We see this in controversies about caricatures or Rushdie readings in mosques, where non-religious post-Christians provocatively test Muslims' ideas of freedom of opinion and tolerance, playing at being Voltaire on foreign turf. The Muslims concerned are very sensitive to such asymmetries, as they are to double standards over the crucifix and the headscarf."

Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | 21/04/2006

Monarchy and national identity

Gustav Seibt says the British can count themselves lucky that they have the Queen, and that Europe as a whole is fortunate to still have its monarchies. "Queen Elizabeth has met every Prime Minister since Winston Churchill, and conferred with them every week. We will probably never be able to gauge how important this has been for the country's history, but these meetings must certainly have had a considerable disciplining effect on novices to the office. Even in the modern world, popular monarchies, steeped in tradition, are an important factor for the success of democratic constitutions. Without its royal dynasty, the state of Belgium would no longer exist. And Spanish democracy survived the attempted coup of the Franquist reactionary forces only thanks to the courageous intervention of its king."

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