German chancellor Angela Merkel has met many of French president Emmanuel Macron’s demands for eurozone reform during a meeting in Meseberg outside Berlin. Read more
“The worst crisis in Angela Merkel’s twelve-year chancellorship” has ended with a whimper. Read more
Der Spiegel laments that Angela Merkel is allowing Emmanuel Macron to take the lead in Europe.
The left-leaning weekly has complained for years that Merkel isn’t bold and visionary enough, but they have a point this time: Macron has seduced both eurocrats in Brussels and Donald Trump in Washington while Merkel’s authority in Berlin has been significantly reduced by a disappointing election result in September.
Also read Nicholas Vinocur in Politico on the French leader’s transatlantic ambitions:
Macron is determined to restore France’s greatness and Trump’s friendship elevates Paris as a nuclear power with a seat on the United Nations Security Council at a time when Britain — usually Washington’s preferred ally — is sidelined by the Brexit process.
Angela Merkel’s response to Emmanuel Macron’s EU reform push is to beef up the Eurogroup: the regular conclave of finance ministers from the nineteen countries that use the single currency. Merkel would add economy ministers to the meetings and expand the Eurogroup’s remit to include all areas of economic policy.
Mehreen Khan argues in the Financial Times that it’s a good way to sabotage eurozone reform: “you effectively hollow out decisionmaking power and create a glorified talking shop.”
I think that’s an exaggeration, but Merkel and Macron do have different priorities.
The former, backed by a Dutch-led alliance of liberal member states, calls for structural reforms to boost competitiveness in the south. Macron argues for investments to promote convergence.
The end goal is the same, but the way they would get there is very different: Merkel puts the onus on the laggards while Macron argues for a shared responsibility. Hence his push for a common eurozone budget and a European finance minister. Read more
Angela Merkel is expected to step down as leader of Germany’s Christian Democratic party (CDU) some time during or after her fourth term as chancellor.
Der Spiegel reports that she is grooming Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the prime minister of Saarland, as her successor.
But there are at least two more candidates: Ursula von der Leyen, the current defense minister, and Jens Spahn, a lawmaker from North Rhine-Westphalia. Read more
Germany’s Christian Democrats and Social Democrats have agreed to form another “grand coalition” government.
Here is everything you need to know about the deal. Read more
Angela Merkel’s answer to the defection of right-wing voters is — counterintuitively — to shift further to the left.
Der Spiegel reports that the German chancellor recently told members of her Christian Democratic party (CDU) they need to do better on pay, pensions and housing.
They were expecting a harder line on immigration, which is the issue that galvanized the Alternative for Germany’s voters.
This new far-right party placed third in last month’s election with nearly 13 percent support.
Merkel’s Christian Democrats still won, but with only 33 percent support — their lowest vote share in over half a century. Read more