Letters from Germany

Episode 2: Marina Schuster

German politician Marina Schuster writes of her beliefs about the country she serves.

Marina Schuster, a member of Germany's coalition government, writes of her beliefs about the country she serves and the changes in perception over the last year.

Marina Schuster is a leading member of Germany's FDP Free Democratic Party; often compared to the Liberal Democrats in Britain. In her roll as party spokeswoman on human rights she has a keen interest in the way Germany is perceived in a global and European context.

In this, the second of Radio Four's 'Letters from Germany' Marina writes of her beliefs about the country she serves and the changes in that perception over the last year.

The European Economic crisis has been broadly portrayed as a tale of north versus south with the north, and particularly Germany, portrayed as either the frugal, hardworking nation forced to prop up its profligate southern neighbours, or as the heavy-handed bully forcing those same neighbours into yet more penury. With each developing twist, starting first in Greece and then Spain, Portugal and Italy, Germany has been the 'other' side. Pressure has built and attitudes have become stark and, much to the horror of many in Germany, old and ugly stereotypes have been unleashed. It reached something of a watershed during Chancellor Angela Merkel's recent visit to Athens with Nazi flags there to greet her.

In this series Radio Four invites a range of leading German figures, a writer, a politician, a churchwoman, a historian and an economist, to write a letter putting forward their notion of national identity and the version of Germany they believe should inform the views of their British and broader European partners.

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