Why 65-year-old Merkel is called the "mother of the German nation"
Angela Merkel is 65 years old. Regardless of how much more she will hold as Chancellor, Merkel has already gone down in history as the most influential politician in Europe at the beginning of the 21st century. Successor Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer will have to sweat so that Germany does not lose leadership in the European Union
Angela Merkel - 65. For Germany, with first-class medicine, this is “not age”. Especially for the politician. The most "long" Chancellor Helmut Kohl left his post when he was under seventy. Another Christian Democrat and First Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Konrad Adenauer resigned in 87. As much now to the former Minister of Finance and head of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Schäuble.
What prevents the physics from the GDR and the first woman chancellor to pursue a career? Politically, there are no obstacles. Merkel’s term ends in 2021, and if her party wins, she can remain at the helm of Germany.
Her authority is still high. None of the former candidates for the post of head of the CDU does not have such respect. The “mother of the German nation” is considered respected not only at home, but in Brussels and Washington. The appointment of her proposed candidacy for the post of European Commission President Ursula von der Lyayen once again confirmed Merkel's status.
Recognition of the value of the Chancellor and steel compliments from its irreconcilable opponent - the President of the United States.
"She is a fantastic person..." - said Donald Trump on the G20 margins in Osaka, Japan.
After the “migration crisis”, the CDU lost almost 9%, but still remains the main party in Germany. After the next election, the CDU, judging by the polls, will retain the lead. If any changes take place, then, most likely, in the structure of the ruling coalition. Instead of the Social Democrats, "green" can enter it.
Of course, one cannot argue that the power of the CDU is unshakable. The entry of the Alternative for Germany into the Bundestag and the local parliaments proved a systemic crisis. German society is polarized. One part of the citizens, who previously supported the “big coalition” (CDU / CSU / SPD), went over to the right, the other half - to the “green” ones.
"We will do it"
Political opponents and even some allies consider Merkel to be the culprit for the migration crisis. At the same time, the pressure that threatened the Christian Democrats with a fiasco in the 2017 elections was stopped thanks to the personal participation of the chancellors. During the acute phase of the migration crisis in 2015, she did not “hide her head in the sand” and took full responsibility for the unpopular decision to open the doors to uninvited guests from the Middle East and Africa.
Germany is a proud country. We will do it,
- Merkel said in the midst of a refugee crisis.
Merkel managed to impose his migration policy not only on his own country, but on the whole of Europe. In 2015, the European Union approved a plan of mandatory quotas for the reception of refugees from Greece and Italy. With the same leadership, the EU Chancellor managed to overcome the debt crisis in Spain, Portugal and Greece, when the then Minister of Finance of the Federal Republic of Germany, Schäuble, imposed a tough “budget discipline” on the eurozone.
The political pressure on Merkel, of course, is growing, but this is not a serious factor for the chancellor to resign early. Now the German media are concerned about others - the state of her health. Over the past month, Merkel has “shaken” at least three times at official receptions. The Chancellor tried to reassure the public, saying that "everything is in order", and her attacks - proof that "we are not becoming younger." But the newspaper Rheinische Post sees this as evidence that Merkel’s “physical forces are leaving.”
According to the memoirs of the former Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, the Chancellor wanted to leave as early as 2017, but could not do it, because she did not find a worthy replacement. Today, the successor is more or less determined. The main challenger is Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. Because of the complex name, the Germans simply call it “ACC”. A convinced Catholic, an opponent of gay marriage and the mother of three children, ACC, is one of the most loyal politicians to the chancellor.
She helped Merkel during her election campaign, for which she was promoted to chairman of the Christian Democratic Union last year. Today she was made the Minister of Defense, who before her was also a woman - Ursula von der Lyayen, mother of many children and the most experienced politician in the Merkel government. Some believe that Merkel’s successor will not be ACC, but von der Lyayen.
Whoever inherited power from the "German mother", he or she will have a hard time. The authority of the most experienced head of government in Europe will prevail over them. Merkel has been in power for 14 years.
Measured, patient, austere
Merkel's second advantage is that she could devote herself entirely to work. The chancellors, unlike the former and new ministers of defense, have no children. Her private life was always in second place. On foreign trips, Merkel rarely took her husband, the famous quantum chemist Joachim Sauer, and once, when her limo stopped near the White House, she forgot her other half in the car.
When Merkel came to power, many underestimated her. But subsequent years have shown that she deserves the title of "Iron Chancellor." Merkel has an unusual ability to "dry out of the water." The leader of the Christian Democrats is extremely calm about criticism, is able to wait a moment to deliver a crushing blow to opponents. The leader of the "Left" Gregor Gysi said that "mother" was chosen for 1-2 years, then to send home. But in the end, Merkel herself sent them home.
A distinctive feature of the head of Germany is also the ability to build personal contacts.
Merkel speaks of himself as a measured policy. She always needs more time to make decisions than others. But once having made a decision, she stands firmly on it. This kind of behavior manifested itself in a number of fateful verdicts. Whether it is a billion dollar bailout package for the euro zone, the admission of a million refugees, the abandonment of atomic energy or the support of Nord Stream 2. The sanctions against Russia that have lasted for five years now are also a consequence, even if Merkel is not always beneficial to the country, permanence.
The paradox of Merkel is that, being a cold-blooded politician, she did not lose her human face, for which her Germans call Mutti Merkel (“Mommy Merkel”). Everyone remembers how she went to the dressing room for the German national football team at the World Cup and in 2008, she called Schweinsteiger, a midfielder who received the “red card” to the podium, asking to “behave”. Emotional meeting of Merkel with a Palestinian girl, whose family could not stay in Germany, became a real meme on the Web, because, according to the Chancellor, “Germany cannot accept all Palestinians”. When the schoolgirl burst into tears, “Mommy Merkel” approached her, began to calm her down and even stroked her shoulder.
With all the laudatory odes to Merkel, there are many complaints. If Willy Brandt was remembered for his “Eastern policy”, Helmut Kohl - for the unification of Germany, then Merkel will be remembered by the Germans as the “chancellor of migrants”. The historian Andreas Roedder noted that the chancellor left behind a divided German society and a divided Europe due to migration policy.
However, even with these "flaws" Merkel deserved a special role in world history. She will be remembered as the most influential politician in Europe at the beginning of the 21st century, who, after Trump came to power, became the only and, perhaps, the last leader of the Western liberal world.
Whether her successors will pull such a heavy and responsible burden, time will tell. In the end, the “girl Kolya” was also once underestimated. But she coped and by the age of 65 became the true leader of the 500 million European nation.