How has she been celebrated, our Chancellor: as a brilliant explainer of the corona crisis, as a shining example for the USA, UK and the rest of the world. But now she’s out, the German Länder no longer want to follow Merkel.
In the Corona crisis, the Länder (regions) are taking over the reins again. Having already failed to keep to the last agreements with Merkel, the regional chiefs are now to take responsibility for the “relaxation exercises”.
Merkel just managed to push through that there will be an “upper limit” in the future (50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the last seven days). Those who report more corona patients will have to take “measures” again.
This ends a curiosity in German constitutional history. The meetings of the heads of the states with the chancellor were not even provided for in the Basic Law. Normally the chairman of the conference of prime ministers would have set the tone.
But because the CDU state leaders are not green and we have a grand coalition, Merkel was allowed to lead the Corona Club. She was allowed to explain the – now obsolete – reproduction figure and reprimand the “loosening discussion orgy”.
But the “orgy” was then also her last word. Because Laschet, Söder & Co. found so much fun in this wild goings-on, that they always started new “loosenings” without asking the chancellor for permission.
Merkel is out, now only the “New York Times” and the “FT” have to notice it. They had glorified the Chancellor – which is a venial sin in view of the disastrous mistakes of US President Trump and Prime Minister Johnson.
In the EU, on the other hand, Merkel’s star in the Corona crisis was never so high. In Brussels, it was met with anger that she delayed a joint crisis response, imposed an export ban on protective clothing and then closed the borders without consultation.
It is also unforgettable that in her first TV appearance on the Corona crisis, the Chancellor did not talk about Europe once. She was only interested in talking to the German conscience – and supporting the weak Minister of Health, Spahn.
Which verdict the story will give on Merkel will probably not depend on the last few weeks – but on the second half of 2020, when Germany takes over the presidency of the Council, and Merkel must lead the EU out of the corona crisis.
If she keeps things together and makes a fresh start, she will be celebrated, despite her many major mistakes in European policy. If not, the verdict will be devastating – not only for Merkel, but for Germany as a whole…
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) – The original post (in German) is here