The German democracy which is now doing its best to prop up the rest of Europe, was one which emerged, phoenix-like, from the devastation of the Second World War. It was a nation which had to confront both Past and Present; East and West.
They were runners-up at Euro 2008, and followed that up with a semi final appearance at the World Cup two years later. Now, once again one of the pre-tournament favourites, Germany are looking to do something they've not achieved since 1996: win the European Championships.
When the first Euros were printed in 1999, Europe chose a bold new future. But beneath the surface, the new European economy was built on shaky foundations. The decision is one of the biggest we have faced. The answer is clear: Europe must go for growth.
Unfortunately we have now got to a point where everybody needs to stop acting as they have for years and start acting like each other. German sensibleness must give way to extravagance; Spanish manana must switch to ahora and Italian unpredictability must morph into political security.