Chancellor Angela Merkel is a powerful woman. She shies away from calling herself leader as in Germany that would harp back to Hitler, the Fuhrer. She appears right now to hold all the cards as far as Europe goes but will she be able to keep that iron grip with the new leader of France, Francois Hollande?
Added to the equation is the Greek election which at this moment in time has left Greek politicians struggling to form any sort of coalition government. Austerity has been demanded across Europe by Merkel but this has left many people unsettled. This does not refer to the hardship austerity causes but that it is a foreigner in another country laying down the law. We Brits tend to say in such situations "who died and made her Queen"
There are obvious reasons why Germany currently is not suffering from the same crisis as the rest of Europe. Those so inclined may remark that Germany had a huge helping hand after the last Great War. Whilst other countries in Europe struggled to rebuild Germany were given the upper hand. Now it seems that they have no compassion for countries feeling pressure.
For many people the problem with Merkel is her arrogant manner. Of course you may believe that arrogance and Germany go together hand in hand but you can never generalise about any race of people. She may not be representative of Germans in
general. Merkel made a rather long speech following the election of Hollande in France. She stressed the continuing Franco - German alliance, although Hollande will know that she was actively pushing for Sarkozy to win.
The leaders of Europe though will have to work together, like it or not. For many citizens of Europe though, they want their own leaders making the laws, and not the technocrats of the EU. Merkel ruffles feathers, especially when she makes statements such as “We do not merely want to survive this crisis. Germany shall re-emerge from it stronger and better equipped for the future.”
That means that Merkel is looking after her own whilst trying to prevent other leaders from following suit. Germany has tried to dominate Europe twice in the past by aggression. Currently it is hoping to do so, but not with war.
The people of Europe though may have a tentative relationship with Germany, as old wounds take time to heal. Angela Merkel could still open them if she is not careful.
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog