Can a president who's elected on a promise to be normal deal with Europe in the throes of a crisis of abnormality?
With France's Francois Hollande taking office, an all-star panel debates "Mr. Normal" and how the politics will reverberate across Europe in this excerpt from the past week's "Fareed Zakaria GPS." Watch the video above.
And is Germany taking too much of the anger? Here's what Josef Joffe, Die Zeit editor, had to say:
ZAKARIA: Josef Joffe, you know that much of the rhetoric and the anger is directed at Germany. The idea is the Germans are forcing all this austerity on Europe, European governments having forced to cut their budgets. It's causing misery, unemployment. It's even causing bigger budget deficits.
But you've sort of defended the German position, isn't it fair to say?
JOSEF JOFFE, EDITOR, DIE ZEIT: Well, I mean, Angela Merkel makes for a nice whipping boy for problems which are deeply rooted in the societies that we've just heard about [France, Greece, Spain]. ...
The problem is that the rest of Europe is ganging up on Germany and that German economic miracle, the export miracle, which everybody is complaining about, has a very simple reason. German unit labor cost didn't rise almost at all. In the last decade, it went up by 35 percent in Italy, same number in the Iberian countries and it went through the roof in Ireland.
One last point, the Irish, who went through the roof, they had 50 percent increase in unit labor cost have now come down to just 25 percent increase. So, in other words, it can be done if you put your mind to it.