Angela Merkel's Global Acceptance

By Naveed Qazi | Editor, Globe Upfront

Winning four elections, back to back, is not an easy task. It seems Angela Merkel has a laudable leader in her because of her reservations of the police state, and authoritarian systems.

The German Chancellor has been acclaimed, for being pragmatic, reliable, of stronger political convictions, and having a political vision. Germans, at one point in time, totally trusted her, who were more economically stable, than ever, under her regime.

When she took office, world immediately slid into the most tumultuous economic times in 2008, and then the ensuing European currency crisis happened. Her biggest, first achievement, as a reaction, was preventing the euro from disintegrating. 

The recent election speaks of Merkel loyalty, in German vote bank. Her CDU (Christian Democratic Union) - CSU (Christian Social Union) alliance called for a stronger economy, and defence. The SPD (Social Democratic Party) wanted to tackle social inequality. Die Linke wanted more social security. Greens wanted to push several agendas, for green politics, and pro-Europeanism. AfD spoke of ceasing migration.

Like Macron, Angela Merkel is a strong believer of the European Union. In times to come, both leaders might enjoy increased co-operation, after her fourth election win, to hold the European Union together.

During current times, she along with her associates, have to face the music of several countries, unhappy with EU integration. Greece seems to be one of them.

In reality, Germany, under her, was leading the stark austerity measures, over the course of time, at the behest of other countries, like France, Italy, Spain and Portugal.

Merkel has pondered a lot, on the issue of the stability, of European banks. In fact, the plan she followed, was opposite of what the Americans do. She went on to reduce the money supply, instead of increasing the money supply, as a reaction drawn against Greek debt crises.

As her belief is strongly engrained, in the ideas of freedom, and humanity, it was a very ‘Merkelian move’, on her part, when she commented that migrant crises would define the decade. But, post migrant crises, her stand drew anger and cries of a ‘traitor’, and chants that called her ‘to resign’.

It gave a political mileage, to her rival political parties, such as the AfD. Getting migrants, into employment, is not an easy task, but she has still asked the German regions, to be fair and equitable, with migrant settlements.

In her political career, she has gone on to make some bold decisions. Although, belonging from a centre-right political orientation, and having a special place, for Israel and its imbibed ‘Jewish character’, she in her past, supported the religious importance of Jerusalem, for all the communities, but went to distance herself from the two-state solution, after Netanyahu’s failed truce, with the Palestinians.

Despite not being an ‘Islamophobe’, it will still be harder to believe that she will draw sympathy, from the Muslim world, or from regions, outside Europe. It is because she sanctioned wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in her past.

Many also have not agreed with her political opinions, and parlance. But, as Justin Trudeau from Canada has been seen as a weaker global leader, in comparison to Angela Merkel, it seems there are many people, who want her to be the leader of a rational, free and progressive world. This will line up pro-Trump, pro-Putin, and other far-right forces, against her.

Interestingly, she could see a fiscally tied closeness, of Ukraine, and Georgia, with Russia. But, she chose to refuse NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) status to Georgia, under Mikheil Saakashvili, who was testing Russian mettle, as Russians had entered the Georgian heartland, for a brief war, in August 2008.

If Georgia was given a MAP (Membership Action Plan) status, it was like telling Russians that West had prepared another ally, for a war posturing.

But, Merkel delivered with assertive leadership, and apt diplomacy. It is because a war, on a small republic of Georgia, could have erased 20 years of increased understanding, between the West and Russia.

On the issues of globalisation, Merkel had been praised for her step-to-step solution, to economic problems. She advised a chamber for structural reforms, with heads of EU (European Union) countries, for economic supervision, until the EU becomes strong enough, to compete with other huge economies, for the process of globalisation.

She has favoured centralised economic systems, for taxes, budgets and social security systems.

After the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, in Japan, she shut down 17 nuclear reactors, in her country, and planned to suspend the remaining, till 2022. 

It put her concerns for the energy reform, out in the open. She also planned military reduction (abolishing conscription plan), with her cabinet associates, for her support for family, and civil life, in Germany.

In nearly every European or international negotiation, during the last decade, she played a very important role. For example, it was her outstanding role to convince the heads of state and government to participate at the Paris Climate Summit in 2015. Without the participation of many heads of state and government, the summit would not have been successful.

In terms of her personality, she has won Forbes ‘World's Most Powerful Woman’ eight times, a TIME Person of the Year Award 2015’, ‘US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011’, and the prestigious 'Charlemagne Prize', in 2008, for European Unity.

She recalls her first political memory, of a construction site, of a barricade, in 1961, that stood in front of her train station, near her home.

When it was vacated, and dismantled, in 1989, she believes that it had been a changing moment, in her life, during the German Peaceful Revolution, that in many ways, unified Germany. Factually, Merkel spent her first 35 years living in Soviet-controlled East Germany working at a state-run research center until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

She gives credit for the political experience she earned, during her youth, in East Germany. Many individuals, knowing her political career, have commented that she stresses on the red lines, and knows her limits, ever since she took office.


Popular Posts