Angela Merkel strikes back

Article published on Nov. 21, 2016
Article published on Nov. 21, 2016

Angela Merkel has just announced that she will be running for chancellor in 2017. Rising against growing populist politics in Europe, Merkel has claimed she will defend European values. She may just be the strongest anchor that the continent will have to maintain its stability, but not everyone is convinced. 

Europe needs Merkel - ABC, Spain

For ABC Merkel's announcement that she will run for a fourth term as chancellor is good news:

“Naturally after so much time in office contentious decisions have been made. … But one thing she can't be accused of is a lack of leadership. Merkel never gave up even when most of the other European leaders were paralysed or incapable of reaching a consensus. Germany is vital to Europe's stability and progress, and not just because of its economic dimensions and demographics. It takes a certain talent to show leadership without being perceived as arrogant and Merkel has displayed that talent over the years. She also has the backing of a grand coalition. The naturalness with which the main opposition party participates in government makes Spain green with envy. It looks like we Europeans could be facing a few very difficult years if the wave of populism and nationalism persists, and Merkel's talent will be indispensable.” (21/11/16)

She can't do it without help from ParisDe Morgen, Belgium 

Merkel's decision to run for chancellor again is good for Europe, but even if she's elected she won't be able to save Europe all on her own, De Morgen believes:

“Even for Mrs Merkel and prosperous Germany the task at hand will be extremely difficult. Particularly now that China is seeking to take over the global economy, Russia is bombing its way to increased military power and Trump has surrounded himself with advisers for whom there is no other term than 'white supremacists'. ... Merkel's role would be easier if France elects someone other than Marine Le Pen as president in 2017, replacing the totally burned-out Hollande with a moderate president who could give new vigour to the French-German axis. But if Le Pen is elected we'll have a problem on our hands: Merkel will find herself in an unpredictable and dangerous Bermuda triangle between Le Pen, Trump and Erdoğan. In such a storm even Merkel will go under.” (21/11/16)

Just 'carrying on' won't workKurier, Austria 

Angela Merkel must change her policy if she wants to be re-elected, writes the Kurier:

“She knows that a farewell would have torn up the CDU - and she knows that the Social Democrats probably wouldn't have filled the gap this would have left in Europe. Therefore her decision to run for re-election is consistent and reassuring; and at this stage there is no real alternative. Nevertheless, the lack of alternatives she herself created carries the risk of further division - the number of those often disparagingly referred to as the 'left behind' could grow. If she is re-elected Merkel must change her 'carry on as before' approach, she must make the politics bubble more penetrable, make politics more open to attack. She must counter the polarization - and above all the economic division, because many things are going wrong in job wonderland Germany. If she manages to create unity in these times of division it will send an important message for all Europe. If she doesn't, her time as the only real option will soon be over.” (21/11/16)

Wanted: fresh ideas and new facesNeue Zürcher Zeitung, Switzerland

Despite what her announcement suggests there are alternatives to Merkel, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung criticises:

“In her eleven years in power Merkel has led the country with a steady hand through a phase of stability and prosperity. Joblessness is at a low and employment rates are at an all-time high. Salaries have been rising once more for some time now. Germany is doing well. But Merkel hasn't brought the country much further. She benefited from the labour and social reforms her predecessor Gerhard Schröder introduced to his own detriment. Several groundbreaking reforms were even repealed under Merkel's leadership. The crippling burden of the state on the economy and society increased after the coalition with the Social Democrats. All in all new ideas and new faces at the helm of the German state would not be a bad thing.” (21/11/16)

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