The German newspaper Spiegel’s online arm today runs an English translation of an interview conducted with the German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, following the European ‘summit’ on the financial crisis.
Reading the first question put to Schäuble, below, it is easy to form the opinion that this is going to be one of those fawning ‘volleyball’ interviews where the journalist performs the set for the politician to spike the ball over the net and win a point:
Mr. Schäuble, politicians and economists around the world are hailing the recent European Union summit as a success. Has the euro now been saved?
However after a few questions it becomes clear Schäuble is being challenged on his points and not being able to make airy fairy assertions without being called on them.
The interview is notable for the incredible contrast to the fawning approach we see in the UK media whenever Ministers are questioned about such important matters. It also stands out for the way in which the interviewers push for an answer to the question asked rather than mindlessly accepting whatever PR generated line the politicians spins out, which is now the norm in this country.
No matter what your political persuasion or viewpoint on the EU and the bail out fund reported last week, the interview is well worth reading. At the very least is demonstrates how dumbed down and ineffective our media is in comparison. It is also instructive for those who wish to intelligently challenge politicians at all levels in this country in an effort to hold them to account.