Posted by: 11-01-2019, 14:31
Frau Merkel is returning to the international arena
Angela Merkel's visit to Greece
At the end of her political career, Angela Merkel decided to protect the global order and give the final battle to the nationalists and populists.
After a long break connected with solving internal problems, German Chancellor Angela Merkel returns to the international arena. She began 2019 with a two-day visit to Greece, the first in five years. In Athens, she was greeted with protests. The meeting of the German Chancellor was so stormy that the Greek police had to disperse the demonstrators with tear gas. In a week and a half, she will meet with Emmanuel Macron and sign an important agreement with him on further cooperation between Germany and France.
Having «got rid” of the party, the Christian Democratic Union, in which the government handed over to its prot? g?, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, and returning from the post of federal chancellor in late 2021, Frau Merkel returned to the international arena after a year of serious internal problems. Moreover, in contrast to previous times, she has her hands free, because she does not need to think about pleasing the voters and winning the next elections.
„She got rid of the difficult political struggle in Germany”, Carsten Nickel, director of the consulting company Teneo, told Bloomberg. „This will allow her to concentrate on important issues of international life”.
In Athens, Angela Merkel is waiting for a program consisting of meetings with the Prime Minister and the President of Greece, laying flowers, talking with students of the German University in Greece and other events. Such a rich program is very different from the last short visit in April 2014 and serves as a reminder of the geopolitical crises that made it the main politician of the Old World — the euro and migration crises. Greece is now out of the eight-year creditor assistance program and has begun to rebuild a heavily crisis-ridden economy.
Merkel’s visit also takes place against the background of disputes over the name of Macedonia, which are of great importance both for the expansion of NATO and for the struggle of the West with Russia's growing influence in the Balkans. The German Chancellor supports the change of the name of Macedonia, which will open its way to NATO and the European Union and limit Moscow’s influence on the peninsula.
The mention of the name change of Macedonia is not accidental. Having dealt with internal affairs and returning to the international arena, Angela Merkel plunged into the struggle to preserve the postwar world order. In the remaining three years in power, she intends to fight populists and nationalists, as well as the unpredictable behavior of Donald Trump. All the two years of Mr. Trump in power in America, Angela Merkel does not tire of repeating about the dangers that his policy brings to world trade and security.
As for Europe, Frau Merkel wants to strengthen relations with France. The process began two months ago in Compiegne at a ceremony in honor of the centenary of the signing of the truce, which became the end of the First World War. The leaders of France and Germany defiantly embraced at the ceremony.
Angela Merkel considers the Franco-German alliance the foundation of European unity and stability despite the fact that she rejected most of President Macron’s proposals last year to strengthen European integration. On January 22, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron will sign a friendship agreement between Germany and France in Aachen. The place for an important meeting was not chosen by chance. Aachen was in the 9th century the center of the empire of Charlemagne, who created the Holy Roman Empire and symbolizes the unity of Europe. The treaty is an extension of the Treaty of Elys? e on reconciliation and friendship, signed in 1963 by Charles de Gaulle and Conrad Adenauer. He, according to the Federal Republic of Germany and France, should „raise bilateral relations to a new level“.
One of the main goals of the new union will be the gradual creation of a «Franco-German economic space with common rules”. According to German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, the treaty is an appeal letter at a very difficult time for Europe when populists are trying to impose „national egoism“.
In the New Year's address to the German people, Angela Merkel called nationalism the main threat to the world order. She is confident that the challenges of climate change, terrorism and migration can be dealt with, taking into account the interests of other countries, and not thinking only about their own interests.
«This is the lesson of the two world wars of the last century“, said Chancellor Merkel in her speech. «However, today this idea is not shared by everyone“.
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