Representations of Germanophobia during the German Unification and the Euro Crisis: A Comparative Study in the Portuguese Press
The Reunification of Germany, in 1990, was not received with great enthusiasm by other European countries. On the contrary, the union of the two German states was accompanied by great concern towards its possible political and economic consequences. The Europeans had not forgotten Germany’s responsibility in the outbreak of the Second World War, and many feared that this new nation would again long for a hegemonic role. During the following years, however, the notion of a threatening Germany faded away, giving place to a description of Germany as an economic giant but a political dwarf. Twenty years after the Reunification, with the outbreak of the financial crisis, Germany conquered a key and powerful position at the heart of Europe and Germanophobia started to gain ground again. The present study has been based on the survey, selection and critical analysis of news reporting, opinion articles, interviews and editorials, published in the weekly Expresso and the daily Público, during two historical moments: the Reunification of Germany in 1990 and the European Crisis, between 2008 and 2015. The findings of this study will show that Germany’s growing influence over the current European economic and political scene woke up old 'demons' that had been 'sleeping' since 1990.