In an increasingly fraught and strident world, Ms Merkel seems a voice of moderation, stability, and conscience. Her unwavering defence of the noble principles of the EU in the face of Brexit bluster on the movement of people is commendable.
In two weeks, Ms Merkel will stand for re-election as leader of her ruling Christian Democratic Union, the party she has led since 2000, and, if elected, she will run for another full four-year term next September. She has predicted that that election will be the most difficult since German reunification because of the immigration issue — Germany has accepted more than a million refugees in a little over a year. The growth of a furious ‘Merkel must go’ mood, driven by the anti-Islam Pegida movement and the far-right Alternative für Deutschland, ensures that the election will be fought on some of the issues that carried Donald Trump to power. By the time Germany goes to the polls next autumn, Barack Obama will have left the White House and his ‘no-drama-Obama’ culture will have been replaced by something far more volatile. Should Ms Merkel be re-elected, she would represent a strong voice for liberal democracy in action and in spirit. Europe, and the world, needs such a voice.
Saturday, June 19, 2021