From our correspondent
berlin – When Angela Merkel left the chancellery after 16 years, the majority of Germans could not imagine a country without her at the helm: Who was going to protect Germany from unpredictable crises and emergencies? It’s been a year and a half. It is a kind of progress damn memoriae He seems to descend to the eternal Chancellor, whose number diminishes every day: ignored or nearly so by politics, forgotten by public opinion.
However, since yesterday, Merkel has officially entered a very exclusive club, along with advisers who have made modern German history. in a solemn ceremony, Chancellor Olaf Scholz, President of the Republic, also participated in itFrank Walter Steinmeiergive it to her Grand Cross of the Order of MeritIt is the highest honor of the federal state. Only Konrad Adenauer in 1954 and Helmut Kohl in 1998 were ahead of her.
And it is precisely the precedents that arouse suspicion and bewilderment on the part of many observers: Angela Merkel’s legacy is large enough to put her on a par with Westbending’s father, Marina West, and with the chancellor of reunification? Adenauer and Kohl earned their place in the history books as German EuropeansThe first is by placing Germany at the center of the joint project only a few years after the end of Nazism, and the second is by turning the fall of the wall into a springboard for reunification and at the same time giving a new impetus to the integration process.
But Merkel? In praising her merits, he reminded Steinmeier: “You were an exemplary leader, leading Germany through unprecedented crises, and leading it to economic success.” He evoked the fascinating autobiography of a woman who grew up in the Communist East, “who knew how to use the experience of dictatorship to promote freedom and democracy.”. Added the president for 16 yearsYou have served the Republic with ambition, wisdom, and passion, working to the best of your physical strength.
Yet Steinmeier said nothing of Merkel’s failures, which in the meantime had become too great to ignore. First of all, the policy towards Russia, which has been too lenient for Putin, does not hear the warnings of Central and Eastern European countries about the strategic risks associated with the construction of Nord Stream 2, which they so resolutely wanted after the annexation of Crimea. And Navalny was poisoned. A position that Merkel still defends today, unlike Steinmeier, twice his foreign minister, who admitted his mistakes. As for domestic politics, he comments Suddeutsche ZeitungJust look at the coalition contract of the current government to understand how many unfinished reforms have piled up under Merkel’s governments, from digitization, to infrastructure, to housing.
So doesn’t Merkel, the first female chancellor, deserve to sit in the German Pantheon, next to Adenauer and Kohl? “It would have been better to wait for the next president to do it,” wrote Eckart Lohse in the FAZ newspaper, and according to Steinmeier in this way raises suspicion that he wants to spare her, even himself.
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