In 2016, the renowned New York Times proclaimed Angela Merkel the “leader of the free world”. Now the Pulitzer Prize winner Bret Stephens calls in the same newspaper for the resignation of the Chancellor.
Contrary to all forecasts, Donald J. Trump won the election in November 2016 in the United States, calling the German Chancellor the last ” leader of the free world “. Now, in the largest newspaper in America, there is also a voice that calls for the resignation of the Federal Chancellor. The conservative Pulitzer Prize winner and columnist Bret Stephens, in his article ” Why Merkel must go “, takes a tough stand with the Chancellor and explains why it would be better for Merkel to step down.
Stephens describes the long road of wrong decisions in Europe, which has led to the current state of the European Union and its problems. Merkel and other heads of state of the European Union had thus ignored the referendums in France, the Netherlands and Ireland when they spoke out against a European constitution. Then the debt crisis and the refugee crisis had broken over Europe. The massacre at Bataclan in November 2015 and Brexit in the summer the following year have also been turning points, according to Stephen, that would have fueled EU skeptics and right-wing parties.
Merkel responsible for the shift to the right in Europe
Main responsibility for this – it sees the columnist – is Angela Merkel. The Chancellor, with her policy of national unilateralism in the refugee crisis, favored the electoral successes of the xenophobic FPÖ, the Lega Nord and the Swedish Democrats. The FPÖ and the Lega Nord are now involved as coalition partners in Austria and Italy in the government. The Chancellor also bears the main blame for the rise of the AfD, the author claims. The alternative for Germany lay in the surveys before Merkel’s decision to open the border in late summer 2015 at only three percent. Meanwhile, she is on par with the SPD in a recent survey . According to Stephens, Brexit was also a logical consequence of Angela Merkel’s inadequate communication with the European partners and their “chaotic refugee policy”. Overall, Stephens blames Merkel for laying the foundation for the shift to the right in Europe.
The rise of the AfD and the asylum dispute between the two sister parties CDU and CSU explains the columnist of the New York Times above all that the Christian Democrats had driven their Bavarian sister party by the political course of Angela Merkel too far to the left. The AfD therefore finds it easy in Bavaria to chase away parts of the conservative electorate from the CSU, who would no longer feel that they were represented by Merkel’s course. The CSU describes Stephens in his column as distinct from the CDU as the party of the middle. In addition, he accused Angela Merkel, she had long since stopped being a conservative.
13 years in office are truly enough
Already two weeks ago, the long-time ARD correspondent Malte Pieper had demanded in a commentary in the news that the Chancellor should vacate the Chancellery to make room for a successor whose name was not burdened with the current disagreements within the European Union. Pieper accused Merkel, by their policy problems just auszusitzen and on “view to drive” and thus accept the division of the EU approvingly. In Europe, the Chancellor left “scorched earth” in many European countries.