would have resulted, under normal circumstances,rnin a crushing defeat of thernchallenger.rnKohl’s political legacy appears minor.rnGeorge Bush, not Kohl, is the father ofrnGerman unification, and Bush succeededrndespite the opposition of Europeanrn”friends” like France and Britain. Fortunatelyrnfor Kohl, the dying Soviet Unionrnwas not strong enough to demand, as arnprice for her approval of German unification,rnGerman termination of therntreaties establishing NATO and the EuropeanrnUnion. Had the Soviet Unionrnremained powerful, Germans are notrnsure which option Kohl would have chosen:rnGerman unification or Europe, NATO,rnand the United States. This uncertaintyrnexplains why Kohl will never bernregarded as a second Bismarck.rnOf this one can be sure: Unless therngrim economic truth underlying thernbudget deficits compels otherwise, Mr.rnSchroder will disappoint in the very arearnin which he would like his success to bernmeasured; the economy, especially thernreduction of the unemployment rate.rnTo succeed, he would need to implementrna Reaganite reform policy—an impossibilityrnin Germany, with its left-wingrnparliament and with communists, inrncoalition with Schroder’s SPD, on thernway back to power in the state of WesternrnPomerania and possibly elsewhere.rnSchroder will be forced by doctrinaire elementsrnof the SPD to pursue an employmentrnpolicy with the old-guard FrenchrnSocialists, the very basis of which will bernmaking the euro instrumental for financingrnthe public deficits necessitated byrnsocialist employment policies. The endrnresult may well be a disastrous liberal eurocommunism,rnfor which Kohl’s eurornproject paved the way.rnSchroder’s inescapable failure, however,rnwill not likely lead to a recovery ofrnthe defeated GDU. The centrist CDUrnmay be faced, sooner rather than later,rnwith the fate of its Italian sister party (andrnthe previous French version): virtual extinction,rnbecause its right-leaning electoraternfinally got fed up with the left-wingrnpolicy of the party leadership. The GDUrnleadership stigmatized the right, givingrnits constituents no other choice than tornendorse the party leadership’s left-wingrnagenda. To break free of this politicalrnand ideological trap, many German votersrncast ballots for the left directly, andrnnot indirectly for a left that pretended tornbe centrist.rnBut next time, in the midst of deeprneconomic crisis, Germans could preferrnto vote for parties that promise to terminaternboth the euro and the looming liberalrneurocommunism. The GDU willrnnot be a likely candidate for this job —rnrather, it may disappear with the evil itrnhas created.rnJosef Schiisslbumer is a German civilrnservant who writes from Bonn.rnLetter FromrnFlorencernby Andrei NavrozovrnPapal SoaprnThe domiciliary organ of the host tornwhich I have now attached myself is therncavernous Renaissance of every spiritualrnparasite’s dreams, most of it still inhabited,rnin that Cherry Orchard kind of wayrnwhich keeps grand English countryrnhouses tottering but not always falling tornthe National Trust, by the descendants ofrnthe Florentine merchant prince who, inrn1620, bought what was then the PalazzornAcciaiuoli, designed by Buontalentirnshortly before he completed the PalazzornUffizi. Some years later, the family acquiredrnfrom the waning Medici thernmuch larger Gasino di Parione, whichrnbecame their principal residence and isrntoday the most important private museumrnof art in Florence. The lesser palace,rnhowever, has a private garden, a Baroquernjewel set in box and lemon by GherardornSilvani, where I can stroll, pick persimmons,rnand occasionally think of somethingrnto say in this letter.rnNaive as this may seem to anyone whornhas made a day trip to Florence or ownsrnan encyclopedia, I do not want to namernthe princely family. The fig leaves carefullyrnplaced, at some sticky historic moment,rnon all the male statuary in thernpalace once known as the Casino di Parione,rnwhich now bears the family’srnname, do not diminish the pleasure ofrnthe proceeding. There is a hint in this forrnour times, one which I myself heededrnbut little in the course of a perverselyrnfrank and shamelessly prolonged adolescence.rnNow I know better. Unfortunately,rnI’m joking, but anybody within arnhundred miles of Machiavelli’s tombrnwill tell you that it is a good policy tornkeep your tiap shut until you get out ofrntown.rnAnyway, since then the family has producedrna capable fifth-period pope andrnacquired a first-division medieval saint.rnThe fact that this is Stakhanovite even byrnlocal standards is illustrated by the followingrnembittered reminiscence. A fewrnmonths ago, at a drinks party in London,rnI ran into an outrageously beautiful girlrnwho had two cardinals and a pope in herrnfamily, which I thought, and a Romanrnfriend concurred, was as good as it everrngets. And, merely because of this cruelrntwist of genealogy, even though Paola Aldobrandinirnwas in town all on her lonelyrnown doing a course in computer science,rnwe felt too timid to ask her to dinner thatrnevening. Thank you, Glement VIII.rnNow that I am here in Florence, werndo not even count the cardinals, who arernlike the small change of copper-yellowrnchanterelles in the mossy path of a mushroomrnpicker looking for high-denominationrnporcini. What are you going to findrnnext if you keep on like this, aldermen?!rnI must say, however, that the sociallyrnimpartial daughter of the presentrnprincess—to whose lares and penates or,rnmore to the point, apartments overlookingrnthe Silvani maze, I am parasiticallyrnattached—lets drop with breezy modestyrnthat a pope in the family is always thernhard part. Once you’ve got your pope,rnshe says, he can fix you up with a plausiblernenough saint, if that’s what you reallyrnwant, or put your escutcheon on top of arngrandiose public monument, if this isrnyour line of ambition. She says the reasonsrnfor why that should be so are on thernwhole pretty obvious, and since the diningrnroom where she says it is dominatedrnby the portrait of her very own St. Andrea,rnby no less persuasively mythopoeticrna hand than Guido Reni’s, all I canrnmuster by way of reply is a feeble nod followedrnby a sycophantic chuckle.rnThe princess gets pretty steamed uprnon hearing of her daughter’s flippancy,rnor ignorance as she calls it, since thernplain fact is that the family saint, whorndied in 1374 ministering to victims of thernplague, was canonized in 1624 by UrbanrnVIII, many years before the family popernwas born. The ancestral proverb shernquotes as she vents her displeasure isrnboni St, ma santi piii (which may be translatedrnfrom the language of the epoch asrnFEBRUARY 1999/37rnrnrn