How Merkel contributed to Macron’s crisis

After the massive protests of the “yellow vests”, the government in Paris has started the retreat. The eco-tax on petrol is put on ice, electricity and gas are not to become more expensive either. For President Macron it is a debacle – but Chancellor Merkel should also be on her guard.

The protests are not only directed against the eco-taxes, which ignited the protest of the Yellow Vests. Nor is it just about the arrogant way in which Macron governs his country.

Yellow vests, trade unions and other critics are turning against the neo-liberal policy that Macron is sticking up to. Macron’s policy is “at the behest of Brussels and Berlin”, as many French people believe.

In fact, the labour market reforms with which Macron began his term of office have been copied in Germany and approved by the EU Commission. Berlin wants to get rid of Hartz, Paris imports his policy

This creates protest and resistance – just like the gradual abolition of the wealth tax, with which Macron also keeps his eyes on Germany. He is a “president of the rich”, he is told at home.

At the same time, Berlin and Brussels have failed to support Macron in his EU reforms. At the end of 2017, German EU Commissioner Oettinger presented a blueprint for the euro that thwarted Macron’s plans.



The agreement, which has now been reached in the Eurogroup, bears the signature of former Finance Minister Schäuble and CDU man Oettinger. Macron’s ideas were ignored or reversed.

When Macron came to power, he offered Chancellor Merkel a deal: “I’m reforming my country the German way, and you’re helping with the EU reforms, my way.” The Chancellor broke this tacit deal.

Instead of helping Macron, she slowed him down. That is why she is now jointly responsible for the debacle. The crisis in France should be a warning to Merkel – Macron’s crisis is also her crisis…

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