The stunning result in Germany’s election has cemented Angela Merkel’s position as the most powerful of European leaders, riding on a wave of support and euphoria that is unmatched by any of her peers in the EU.
German voters like Angela Merkel because they consider her a safe pair of hands. She has a good record of pursuing policies in Germany’s interests. The contrast between her and her fellow national leaders in the Eurozone could not be starker.
19 of her compatriots in the EU have been displaced from power since 2010. Meanwhile, chaos reigns everywhere in the Eurozone as workers strike and riot police clash with protesters. Indeed, the elections in Germany illustrate the very imbalance and unfairness of the European project.
The impoverishment of the periphery of the Eurozone has contributed to the success of Germany and its export industry in particular. There is not much public appetite for diminishing the EU – Germany’s prosperity is dependent on the common exchange rate that is imposed on the poor, unproductive nations sharing the same currency as rich, productive Germany.
It is easy to appreciate why so many Germans voted in favour of the status-quo. With the southern EU nations seeing their desperate and miserable people reduced to the peasantry of Europe, it is their aspirations that are being sacrificed on an altar. The election is a clear a sign of the inequalities and the imbalances that define the European project.