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Opinion: A Merkel-Less Germany Would Ruin Europe

A Germany without Merkel as chancellor would leave Europe in a mess.

Angela Merkel, the real leader of the free world

As the news comes that Angela Merkel, German Chancellor for the last 12 years, cannot reach a coalition agreement, the problems it may cause are raised around the world. 

To understand this, it has to be noted that Germany has a very strong economy and is the strongest European nation—however, at the last election many right wing groups gain popularity. This was due to Merkel's liberality, and allowing refugees and immigrants into Germany—something which should not be shamed. Ultimately, however, the German people voted to place Merkel into a position where she is reliant on other parties to create a coalition government. Sadly, it seems that European liberality is dying with this decision coming just short of 17 months after the UK voted to leave the European Union. Despite the rise of Jeremy Corbyn, the European nations appear to be moving right on the political spectrum. Austria and France have now got right wing leaders, due to the popularity of their policies—which ultimately comes down to the home nation first (as Donald Trump is trying to promote in the United States).

Currently, Angela Merkel is the sole reason that Britain's exit of the EU may remain amicable. If Merkel cannot resume her position, then Britain's position will suddenly become a lot more dangerous. At this moment, Merkel is the most senior leader in the European Union. Currently, there are few countries in Europe who are politically significant and those that are—France and the UK—are currently led by inexperienced leaders (not inexperienced politicians) in Macron and May. Without Merkel, the Brexit discussions will all be by centre to right politicians—a major problem if Britain is to recover after Brexit. Although it could be argued that Brexit is already a disaster and Britain will still be feeling its effects in the very distant future.

Around the discussion table at the moment, the 27 EU nations are all trying to get the best deal for themselves as Britain leaves. Merkel, however, is the only leader trying to keep the discussions liberal—as she sees that an EU without Britain is considerably weaker for both parties. This leaves Britain in an uncomfortable position, as we rely on Merkel to keep our deal "soft" so that the consequences of the decision do not cripple the nation. That has therefore made some impact in the liberal British population, who can see that it would not be beneficial for us if Merkel does not become Chancellor again.

Politically, this is an unmitigated disaster. Without Angela Merkel, it is possible that the German economy stumbles and becomes somewhat weaker. While impossible that it would cause a disaster to their economy, it will be disastrous for the landscape of German politics. Of course, Merkel must leave office at some point—however, the timing of this falls very unfortunately with Brexit and the closest possibility we have come to World War III since the 1980s. Furthermore, as right wing politics become more prominent, the parties which have benefited from Merkel's loss at the election were "alt-right" and threaten the immigration policies of Germany under Merkel. While it is not understandable that some feel threatened by allowing people escaping war to enter a nation, some Germans find it unacceptable and are threatening the stability of  European politics by losing Merkel.

To elaborate, currently in Europe the politics are turning further to the right. Sebastian Kurz, the Austrian politician, Geert Wilders (Netherlands) and Emmanuel Macron (French president) are the main examples of this turn. While Wilders is the most extreme of these three, Macron is the most powerful of the three and he is not very experienced—nor as liberal as some mainstream press lead people to believe. However, the main focus falls on 31-year-old Kurz. The conservative Austrian was on course to become the youngest leader of any European nation, however he is not seen as "extreme" despite his policies implying he is. The danger of a return to anti-immigration, right wing politics amongst key European nations shows that areas such as immigration are now the main focus of votes.

To summarise, the decline in support for Merkel signals the end for European liberality for the moment—with no real sign of its end. Furthermore, the dangers it causes are seemingly ignored. It could signal the end of the EU altogether, which would leave European democracy and diplomacy in a very dire situation.

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Opinion: A Merkel-Less Germany Would Ruin Europe
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