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一个“泛欧洲人”眼中的英国退欧

更新时间:2016-7-4 19:06:16 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

An Irish-German-Chinese Perspective on ‘Brexit’
一个“泛欧洲人”眼中的英国退欧

It was fitting that the moment of clarity came at a border crossing.

顿悟的瞬间出现在过境时,算是恰到好处。

As I got in the immigration line at Beijing Capital International Airport, I glanced at the Irish passport in my hand and saw two familiar words, newly precious, in gold letters: “European Union” in English, “An tAontas Eorpach” in Irish.

在北京首都国际机场的出入境检查窗口,我瞥了一眼手里的爱尔兰护照,看到了两个熟悉的、近来犹显珍贵的金色单词:英语“European Union”和爱尔兰语“An tAontas Eorpach”(皆为“欧盟”的意思。——译注)。

It was the day after news broke that Britain had voted to leave the European Union.

那是英国投票决定退出欧盟的第二天。

Just two generations ago, two European families — one Anglo-Irish, one German-Swedish — were at war with each other, literally.

就在两个世代之前,两个欧洲家庭——一个是英格兰人和爱尔兰人的组合,另一个则是德国人和瑞典人的组合——还处在真刀真枪的交战状态。

As my father tells it, his father was the captain of a British Navy minesweeper in World War II, a job that required finding and blowing up mines laid by the navy of the Third Reich to disrupt shipments of war supplies from the United States to Britain. He survived.

我父亲告诉我,二战期间,他的父亲是英国海军一艘扫雷艇的船长。他的任务是找到并引爆第三帝国(Third Reich)海军布设的水雷,保障从美国到英国的军需物资运输路线畅通。他最终保住了性命。

My other grandfather was part of Germany’s industrial war effort, as the director of its biggest ball-bearings factory. His brother, my Onkel Egon, returned — alive — from the Battle of Stalingrad after driving a truck back to Germany with a small band of Wehrmacht survivors, one of them tied down, raving.

我的外祖父参与了德国的战时工业动员,是德国最大的滚珠轴承厂的主管。他的哥哥,也就是我的伯公埃贡(Egon),活着从斯大林格勒战役(Battle of Stalingrad)的战场回到了家。他是开着一辆卡车回到德国的,和他同行的是一小队国防军(Wehrmacht)幸存者,其中一人是被绑着的,在胡言乱语。

When my sister, brother and I were children, Onkel Egon was a curiosity to us because his wife, Tante Erika, drove him everywhere. Later we found out he had refused to touch a steering wheel for the rest of his life.

当我们兄妹几人都还是小孩子的时候,埃贡伯公对我们来说是一个迷,因为不管他去哪里,都是他妻子坦特·埃丽卡(Tante Erika)开车送他去。后来我们才知道,他余生都拒绝摸方向盘。

Add some French ancestry and there I was, a Pan-European like many others. As I looked at my passport in the line, I felt a surge of sadness that Britain might be leaving the “community of values” — of tolerance, transparency and democracy — that German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks about.

再加上一点法国血统,便有了我,一个和其他很多人一样的泛欧洲人。一边排队一边看着护照时,我心头涌起一股悲伤,因为英国可能将退出德国总理安格拉·默克尔(Angela Merkel)所说的那个崇尚包容、透明和民主的“价值共同体”。

Born overseas and I see Europe as a place that contributes progressive social policies, excellent scholarship, the rule of law and, by and large, responsible political behavior to the world, qualities that people living in it perhaps don’t value as much as people living outside it.

我出生在国外,在我看来,欧洲为全世界贡献了进步的社会政策、杰出的学术研究、法治以及总的来说称得上心系世界的政治行为。对于这些品质,生活在欧洲的人可能不像欧洲以外的人那么在意。

As I made my way from Beijing to Munich to see my family, I talked with Europeans about “Brexit.” A flight attendant for a Swiss airline, an older German man returning from Portugal and a young German academic from Nuremberg expressed bewilderment. They said it was a pity.

在从北京去慕尼黑探望家人的路上,我和几个欧洲人谈起了“英国退出欧盟”(Brexit)。一位瑞士航空公司的空乘、一位从葡萄牙回国的德国老人和一位来自纽伦堡的年轻德国学者表达了他们的困惑。他们说太遗憾了。

In Munich, my friends and relatives shared the surprise and disappointment. They were puzzled why so many in Britain would choose a harder path in life, outside the common market.

在慕尼黑,我的朋友和亲戚也都感到很吃惊,很失望。他们不明白英国为什么有那么多人愿意选择脱离共同市场,走上一条更艰难的道路。

If “Brexit” were to happen — several believed it wouldn’t — they would miss Britain’s quirky culture, its English-language presence in the bloc and its heft within the union as a (hitherto) rational ally for Germany in Brussels, they said.

他们说,如果“英国退出欧盟”真的成为现实——有几个人认为不会——他们会怀念英国那怪兮兮的文化、英语在欧盟的影响力以及(迄今为止)作为德国在布鲁塞尔的理性盟友的地位。

They hoped that Germany would not go the same route.

他们希望德国不要步英国的后尘。

“Our economy is doing so well now, and we still have people who think the same way,” a friend said, referring to “Brexit”-style critics of the European Union in Germany, like the right-wing populist Alternative für Deutschland party. “I shudder to think what would happen if things got tough.”

“我们现在的经济形势非常好,但依然有人有这样的想法,”一个朋友说,他指的是德国国内支持“英国退出欧盟”、对欧盟持批评态度的人,如右翼民粹主义政党德国另类选择党(Alternative für Deutschland)。“我很担心一旦形势恶化,这种事会发生。”

Yet a taxi driver from the Steiermark (an Austrian state near Slovenia) who lives and works in Munich praised the vote, saying all European countries should do the same.

但一名来自施泰尔马克州(奥地利接近斯诺文尼亚的一个州)、如今在慕尼黑生活和工作的出租车司机却对投票大加赞赏,称所有欧洲国家都应该这么做。

Switzerland was the model for everyone, he said, complaining about “foreigners” who got the same rights as “natives.” He wasn’t referring to Syrians and others fleeing war or poverty who are arriving in Europe in large numbers — he meant people from other European nations.

瑞士是所有人的榜样,他一边说,一边抱怨“外国人”享有和“本地人”一样的权利。他指的不是为了摆脱战争或贫困而来到欧洲的大量叙利亚人或其他人,而是来自其他欧洲国家的人。

“You’re Austrian,” I said. “Aren’t you a foreigner, too?” He was silent.

“你是奥地利人,”我说。“你不也是外国人吗?”他沉默了。

I asked why he disliked the European Union. “They have so many rules for everything,” he said. An example? “I can’t think of any now,” he admitted.

我问他为什么不喜欢欧盟。“他们什么事情都有好多规矩,”他说。比如?“我一时想不起来,”他承认说。

In China, incomprehension has been a common reaction to the vote, as people mull why Britain would abandon such a deal and how a democracy might not deliver what is in a nation’s best interests.

在中国,对这次投票的普遍反应是不理解。人们不明白英国为什么要放弃这样的待遇,一个民主国家为何不能做出符合国家最大利益的选择。

If Britain leaves, Ireland and Malta will be the only two English-speaking nations in the bloc. Their numbers could swell a little, as some Britons with Irish ancestry apply for Irish passports, including students and parents at my son’s British international school in Beijing.

如果英国退出欧盟,爱尔兰和马耳他将是欧盟内部仅有的两个说英语的国家。这两国家的人数可能会增加一些,因为一些有爱尔兰血统的英国人正在申请爱尔兰护照,包括我儿子在北京就读的英国国际学校的学生和家长。

As I traveled back to China on Saturday, I looked at the passport in my hand and thought of my two grandfathers whose warring families became one peaceful one, and was glad for those gold letters spelling out “European Union.”

周六回中国时,看着手里的护照,我想起了祖父和外祖父——曾经交战的两个家庭,结成了一个和睦的大家庭,而那些金色字母拼出的“欧盟”字样,让我心感宽慰。

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