Friday , November 16 2018
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Auf Wiedersehen, and Good Riddance

Summary:
Although German Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision not to seek reelection in the next federal election has come as a surprise, it was long overdue. Merkel's "steady hand on the tiller" has guided the German and European ship of state directly into the populists' line of fire. LONDON – She has been dubbed the Queen of Europe and, since US President Donald Trump’s election, the leader of the free world. As the European Union has lurched from crisis to crisis over the past decade, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s steady hand has helped hold the bloc together. According to the conventional wisdom, when she hands over the chancellorship after Germany’s next federal election in 2021 – and perhaps much sooner if her grand coalition collapses –

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Although German Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision not to seek reelection in the next federal election has come as a surprise, it was long overdue. Merkel's "steady hand on the tiller" has guided the German and European ship of state directly into the populists' line of fire.

LONDON – She has been dubbed the Queen of Europe and, since US President Donald Trump’s election, the leader of the free world. As the European Union has lurched from crisis to crisis over the past decade, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s steady hand has helped hold the bloc together. According to the conventional wisdom, when she hands over the chancellorship after Germany’s next federal election in 2021 – and perhaps much sooner if her grand coalition collapses – she will be sorely missed.

However, this will hardly be the case. Merkel’s 13 years in office have involved domestic drift and European decay. She has complacently coasted along, failing to address Germany’s mounting economic and security challenges, and allowing Europe’s many crises to fester. Her lethargic managerialism would be tolerable for a small country in quiet times; it is catastrophic for Europe’s dominant power in an era of upheaval.

Unlike many European countries, Germany has enjoyed solid economic growth...

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