Skip to comments.Germany's ruling alliance teeters on the brink as Angela Merkel loses control
Posted on 06/19/2010 1:53:58 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
"I'd like to think the government might take a look at the national team to see the right way to do things," said Bert Schultz. "Just look at it right now: it's a gaggle of bickering, sluggish, fearful incompetents who seem determined to work against each other rather than together."
Following Germany's disappointing defeat today, Schultz may want to think again. But he was not the first to have made such a comparison this week, as Angela Merkel's centre-right coalition government teetered on the brink of collapse.
An editorial in the Spiegel even went so far as to suggest that national team coach Jogi Löw might make a better chancellor, because he "probably can pull a faster punch than Merkel when it comes to calling the coalition to reason".
Amid daily headlines declaring "Merkel losing control over the coalition" and "Government on verge of collapse?", a sense of despair has descended over the world of politics in the German capital.
Merkel, once the golden girl of European politics, has come in for the sharpest criticism she has faced in four years in charge of Europe's largest nation. Many are now asking how long she can last in the post. At a military ceremony in Berlin this week for Horst Köhler, the outgoing German president, several remarked that it felt like a foretelling of Merkel's own departure.
The chancellor looks weary and drawn ......
(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...
Wednesday 2 June 2010 18.24 BST
Ian Traynor in Brussels
Germany is increasingly resentful of being seen as the cashpoint for its cash-strapped southern neighbours
At a recent summit of European leaders in Brussels, Angela Merkel was feeling tetchy.
As the 27 government chiefs wrestled with compulsory jobs targets for the decade ahead, the German chancellor balked when asked to stick to the same employment rate as everyone else.
"Not all the member states will reach that target," she answered, according to a note of the summit made available to the Guardian. "If some don't go so far, does this mean Germany has to [go further]?" No one asked Berlin to do more than its partners. But Merkel suspected otherwise. The discussion turned to climate change targets. Again Merkel complained. Germany, she signalled, was getting a raw deal in Europe, a sentiment reinforced by senior people in her entourage such as Uwe Corsepius, her influential European adviser.
The prickliness is symptomatic of the change in how Berlin sees the EU. For 50 years, Europe has been Germany's passport to peace, prosperity and power. When Germany pursued its national interests, it did so effectively, benignly and called it "Europa". Those days are over. The German elite feels maligned and misunderstood. In public, and much more frankly in private, senior figures talk of robustly asserting the German national interest.
"It may be new for Europe that Germany is representing its interests with new vigour," said Thomas de Maizière, the interior minister and a Merkel confidant. "But for Britain, France or Italy, this was always a matter of course."
"The mood among the Germans is quite defensive. They feel people are ganging up on them," said an EU ambassador.
Drunken German football fans, upset over its team’s World Cup performance It’s fascinating that a lefty UK paper — Manchester, no less — would choose such a cast of characters to act out its political fantasies.
Looks like to stay in, she’ll have to trot out the cleavage again.
Looks like to stay in, shell have to trot out the cleavage again.
It's been many, many years (like 3 to 4 decades) since it was the Manchester Guardian.
It's a London newspaper...
But drunken German fans is a change from drunken British football fans...:^)