SPIEGEL: But most German politicians are committed to Europe.
Fischer: Only as long as it remains very abstract. But we have to give people enough credit to deal with unpleasant truths. No one explains why the euro is important for Germany and what its failure would mean. And no one explains why Germany has always paid — because it happens to be the big winner in Europe.
SPIEGEL: A community of solidarity means that Germany must pay for the failures of others.
Fischer: What nonsense! The European Union was a transfer union from the very beginning. The common market and the agrarian market were and still are primarily transfer guarantees for Germany and France!
SPIEGEL: How should Merkel have reacted?
Fischer: The chancellor should have put forward her own proposal to rescue the euro, in coordination with France. We have a responsibility as Europe’s strongest economic power. The EU cannot solve its problems in the long run if Germany hides itself. We are paying a high price for our resistance. We are viewed with suspicion in the entire Mediterranean region, and are seen as villains in Greece.