Could she be on the way out? As if German Chancellor Angela Merkel didn’t already have enough trouble on her hands, the situation both in her own country and around the European Union is coming to a boil right now. We already learned that Merkel’s own signature initiatives on migrant policy were being opposed by “the Axis of the Willing,” led by Germany’s Interior Minister, Horst Seehofer, and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. The stalemate came to a head this week when Italy defied EU policy and Merkel’s preferences by turning away a ship with more than 600 refugees on it. (They’ve now arrived in Spain.)
Now, as Reuters reports, the EU may be on a path to truly rupture some old alliances. There’s a conference of EU leaders coming up in less than two weeks and at this point, some of them aren’t even sure they’re going to bother attending. Merkel is scrambling to set up a meeting with her opponents to discuss some sort of compromise, but there’s no assurance thus far that they’re interested in talking either.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, struggling to avert a crisis within her coalition on migrant policy, is trying to set up a meeting of some EU states to discuss the issue before a leaders summit on June 28-29, a German newspaper reported on Sunday.
Citing government sources from representatives of several EU states, top-selling Bild reported on its website that Merkel wanted to discuss possible solutions with Greece, Italy and Austria.
“It is not yet agreed, we are in the planning phase. It is also unclear exactly when this special summit would take place,” a member of the Italian government told Bild. The paper added that next weekend might be one possibility.
A private meeting with the leaders of Greece, Italy and Austria certainly drives toward the heart of her problems, so props to Merkel for at least attempting to find a compromise. But can she? Her base of support at home and the EU leadership in Brussels are still onboard with an open door policy, despite the many problems it’s brought. Merkel’s new ruling coalition hangs on a knife edge, but some her old partners in Germany have turned their backs on her. If she can’t come up with some sort of solution, at least temporarily, this could be the end.
That’s the opinion now being publicly stated by some of her own lawmakers. One of them went on record yesterday saying that Germany could have a new Chancellor by the end of the week. (NY Post, emphasis added)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in the fight of her political life – and could lose her job within days – as her fragile governing coalition appears ready to implode over immigration.
“We are in a serious situation because the question of the migration crisis evolved into a power question,” German lawmaker Kai Whittaker told the BBC on Saturday.
“It could well be that at the end of next week we have a new situation… Probably a new chancellor.”
Some of this is no doubt coming from opportunists inside of the German government who have been looking for an opportunity to take down Merkel but were fearful of challenging her back when her support was more substantial. But that can’t be the entire story. As Merkel has continued to seemingly place the will of the European Union over the desires and interests of her own citizens, her support has been eroding. All it would really take is losing one vote of confidence to see her out the door.
But that’s only a microcosm of what’s going on across the EU. The eastern and southern countries on the front lines of migrant woes, terror attacks, rising crime rates and crushing welfare bills to assist the new arrivals seem to be lining up against the more western and northern members. We’re no longer just talking about Brexit and a couple of other Euroskeptic nations who have suggested leaving. This now holds the potential to see the entire union dissolve into a couple of different opposing camps. At that point, maybe they can get back to paying attention to their own borders and the traditional values and cultures each nation has developed over a long chunk of history.