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Europe, passport of civilization?

Europa, passaporto della civiltà. Le ragioni di un'identità comune.
(Europe, passport of civilization. The reasons behind a common identity.)

„The way we perceive Europe is similar to Saint Augustine’s perception of time. As long as we don’t question the concept, we know what it is. As soon as we start asking, we don’t know it anymore.”

“The joint currency is necessary for Europe’s unity. Money contributes to us feeling either at home or alien, almost as much as language does (…) Money is in fact a language and has a lot in common with language. He who, using a high-minded rhetoric, differentiates between a “Europe of the Soul” and a vulgar “Europe of the Money” neglects the fact that the idea we have of money is also a part of this soul. Without it, families wouldn’t have food on their table and their children couldn’t go to school. Bearing this in mind, Europe can benefit from a bit of “Rhine Capitalism” – depending on what for and for how long it’s being applied. This can be an antidote to the economic bubbles the anglo-saxon capitalism has produced, which have done so much mieschief.”

(Extracts from an article by Claudio Magris, published on the 25 may 2014 in Corriere della Sera. Translation: Ruth Scherer)