Europe The New Germany Flexes Its Muscles

After 45 years of self-effacement, a reunified nation begins to assert its power. The neighbors aren't too happy about that.

To much of Europe, modern Germany resembles a child of doubtful lineage adopted as an infant into a loving family: the child has been good, obedient and industrious, but friends and neighbors are worried that evil genes may still lurk beneath a well-mannered surface -- all the more so now that the child has become an adult.

And what a powerful grownup it has become. United Germany, with 80 million citizens and Europe's largest economy, is asserting itself as never before in postwar history. It is assuming a forceful leadership role in European foreign policy even as the Bundesbank rules Europe's...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!