LONDON • Talk of stability in Europe, and Germany is sure to pop up first in everyone's mind. It's Europe's biggest and wealthiest nation. Its voters rate hard work, order and financial thrift above all other virtues, principles which Germany itself is promoting throughout the continent.
Germany's politicians also don't deliver ringing speeches, rarely possess any charisma and seldom talk about pursuing national interests; instead, they never fail to invoke their country's responsibility for the horrors of previous wars and their responsibility to make amends by being good Europeans. Following German politics used to be as revealing as watching paint dry on a wall - small changes in gloss and colour hues which often take ages.