This is the last line right before the end for chancellor Angela Merkel. She takes the rotating presidency of the european Council at the time the pandemic Covid has powered up in the heart of the Germans (at the height of the crisis, 80 % of them thought that she was doing a good job). Six months to make its evidence on the floor of the european Union before making its bow next year. Angela Merkel has repeated several times that whatever happens from here, there, and even if a non-negligible part of the German population wishes, she would not run for a fifth term in the elections of the fall of 2021. After sixteen years, that's enough, writes of those who, after Konrad Adenauer and Helmut Kohl, holds the record for longevity at the chancellery. Angela Merkel is also the dean of the rulers of Europe.
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The presidency of the european Council is, therefore, a golden opportunity, and probably his last chance, to register his name in a good place in the history books. The flip-flopping of Angela Merkel and her decision to start with Emmanuel Macron in an offensive spectacular in Europe by proposing an ambitious recovery plan are the signal that it is ready to move mountains to re-establish a Europe of tottering ? May 18, Berlin and Paris proposed an economic stimulus package of 500 billion euros to help the countries particularly devastated by the pandemic, Italy and Spain in the lead. A gesture that looks so little in the chancellor of small not careful, which is reproached for its lack of momentum and political vision. Never, indeed, she answered, but frankly in the grand project of reform of the EU that Emmanuel Macron presented in his famous speech at the Sorbonne at the very beginning of its mandate in September 2017. The vision of the young and ambitious French president seemed too risky. "For years, writes Henrik Müller, editor of the weekly Der Spiegel, the chancellor has postponed to tomorrow the chronic problems of the european Union and the euro. At the very end of her career, she has the opportunity to catch up. An historic opportunity and an enormous risk. "
It must be acknowledged that Angela Merkel is in a much better position than in the previous German presidency in 2007. Not only his popularity rating is nice in Germany, but the crisis of the sars coronavirus has also re-branded the coat of arms within the Union. His management of a crisis that has been relatively spared Germany has earned him praise and the respect of its european partners badly. Threatened by the populists, Italy, Spain are run by unstable governments. In France, the municipal have proven how much Emmanuel Macron was weakened. Once again, Germany is a rock in the middle of the storm all around her.
Angela Merkel starts this term of six months in a position of strength. And, as she doesn't plan to be re-elected, it is not subject to any electoral pressure, and should not spare anyone. It is therefore free to be bold in Europe and advance issues that do not necessarily have the endorsement of the conservative fringe group of his party, the CDU. The German population, and this is another chance for Angela Merkel, wants to, in its great majority, to back up this construction weakened by the virus that has both benefited economically and politically from the war. The health crisis of the Covid-19 and its economic implications for the whole of Europe worried about the Germans. The AfD party, the populist far-right eurosceptic, is in loss of speed since the beginning of the pandemic. Torn by internal dissensions and falling in the polls, the AfD is for the moment very weak. On the other hand, the SPD, which is an ally of the CDU within the grand coalition in power in Berlin, is a party that is pro-european in favour of european solidarity.
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"This is the most serious crisis that the european Union has had to face in the course of its history," does not cease to remind the chancellor about the pandemic. She is well aware that the task ahead after today will not be easy and that the stakes are enormous.