During Angela Merkel’s long tenure as German chancellor, the aspirations and prospects of a united Europe have shrunk, thanks in part to her own caution and indecision
The long-serving German chancellor helped the EU survive a string of crises, but her caution and focus on her own country’s interests have undermined the continent’s once-grand aspirations
Sept. 24, 2021 11:00 am ETWhen Angela Merkel barely scraped her way into office as Germany’s chancellor in 2005, Europe’s largest economy was stalled, with unemployment at a postwar high and Germans fearful that their industrial powerhouse was fading amid growing global competition.
Ms. Merkel pledged to restore German pride and to adopt the painful changes required by globalization, while decrying her nation’s recent caution. “We lack the courage to take even the smallest step unless we can calculate its effect into the smallest detail,” Ms. Merkel lamented at the time. “Germany must stop being content with being mediocre.” A more dynamic Germany, she said, would in turn revitalize the European Union, which was losing sway to rising powers in Asia and elsewhere.Read more: The Wall Street Journal »
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