Not sure why — perhaps because I am a deracinated cosmopolitan — but I found this notion of Dani Rodrik’s intriguing:
If the Eurozone was a country rather than a loose grouping of countries, workers would be migrating en masse from Italy to Germany.
This led me to think about Klaus Wowereit’s line about Berlin being poor but sexy, and the general population collapse in eastern Germany. What if a horde of Italians flooded booming Munich, and then headed north to cheap accommodations in Berlin and lesser eastern cities? Enterprising Somalis and Bengalis and Senegalese would soon follow. I realize that this wouldn’t be terribly appealing to the neofascists and even to some of my fellow cultural conservatives, even if new arrivals were exempt from cradle-to-grave welfare protections and they brought intact families in tow. But surely Germany’s dying cities would be far better off. Some on the German right have called for “Kinder statt Inder,” i.e., children and not Indians, but Kinder aren’t always on offer, even if you accept that they are the superior alternative, which is not always obvious (though I have my pro-natalist sympathies). Economic power is shifting away from parts of Germany and Italy; surely they can shift population around in such a way as to make the best of what they have, and perhaps revive moribund cultures in the process.
Of course, it could be that I want Europe to become a continent-wide melting-pot because this is the highest expression of my American chauvinism, so Europeans should be wary.