"Angela Merkel has been Germany’s Chancellor for 10 years, but this is the first time that she is facing serious challenges. Merkel may have survived the euro crisis without a dent in her popularity but Europe’s refugee crisis is leading observers to a hitherto unthinkable question: what if Merkel stumbles over the uncontrolled influx of migrants into her country?
There are problems for Merkel on two fronts. Domestically, her long reign in the opinion polls is drawing to a close as people realise the consequences of her open borders policy. There are now between 5000 and 10,000 migrants arriving in Germany every day. Meanwhile internationally, Merkel faces a double confrontation. On the one hand, EU partners are furious with Germany’s unilateralism. On the other, she now has to beg Turkey for help in containing the flow of Syrian refugees." --
"It is not the first time that Merkel has burdened Germany with the results of her policies. Her decision to switch off nuclear power stations cost energy consumers dearly. Her guarantees for other eurozone countries will haunt German taxpayers for generations.
For years, Merkel drew her political capital from a very simple positioning. By being boring and unexciting, she portrayed a sense of security. The Germans felt safe in her hands, almost irrespective of what she did (or failed to do). But it is hard to feel safe when the country is flooded by more than a million of people in a year and all the head of government has to offer is the slogan “We’ll manage."
As I have often argued in this column, the public’s trust in Merkel’s abilities, let alone achievements, had always been misplaced. She did not achieve half as much as people were willing to give her credit for. However, she was a master of political strategy and communication.
In the current refugee crisis, Merkel again tried to get away with spin and calculation but this time her plan has backfired. Her signal to open Germany’s borders to an unlimited number of migrants was strong, and no matter how much she tries to take it back, she is unable to stem the flow of people into Germany."
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