Angela Merkel’s empty leadership

Unherd, December 23, 2021.

When she left office, Angela Merkel was celebrated across Europe as a benevolent and circumspect leader who had led the Continent through a succession of serious calamities.

This was in striking contrast to her public image during the Greek debt crisis, when cartoonists depicted her in SS uniform resplendent with swastika. But those cartoons were for the masses only. The European political elites, all of them, happily voted with the Merkel government when it came to disciplining the Greek dissidents. They were as eager as the Germans to keep European monetary union alive. Merkel has left Europe to a political class to whom she has not only taught the trickery of two-level politics — national and supranational — but whom she has also, in part, brought to or kept in office. It is a political class that has bet its future on a Europe built around German hegemony. (…)

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