• user warning: Table './cer_staging/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_filter WHERE cid = '3:803b88de58db6a63120198ed4bdff17d' in /home/cer/staging/includes/cache.inc on line 27.
  • user warning: Table './cer_staging/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>Greek newspapers like to portray German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Nazi uniform. The Italian daily <em>Libero</em> has greeted her with a rude <em>Vaffanmerkel!</em> on its cover. The <em>New Statesman</em> has declared her \"Europe\'s most dangerous leader.\" Many here in Britain think that Merkel\'s austerity drive is destroying the euro. In my home country Germany, meanwhile, Merkel is the most popular politician bar none. She is almost guaranteed to be re-elected for a third term in 2013. Why do the Germans cheer their leader while the rest of Europe seems to loathe her?</p><p>One fundamental reason for Merkel\'s persistent popularity is the German economy. It\'s hard to imagine if you sit in Greece, Spain or even depressed Britain. But German output has risen by around 8 per cent since the start of the euro crisis, according to the German economics ministry. The German export juggernaut is purring along nicely. Unemployment is at a record low and wages are finally rising. What\'s not to like?</p><p>The Germans give Merkel a lot of credit for having protected them against the crisis. That credit is not fully earned—the labour market reforms pushed through by her predecessor Gerhard Schröder have a lot to do with Germany\'s current success; as does strong Asian demand for German cars and machine tools and a modestly priced euro. But Merkel appears careful not to squander taxpayers\' money on euro bailouts and she is tough on southern European countries that are slow to reform. Most Germans wholeheartedly approve of Merkel\'s handling of the euro crisis.</p><p>Another reason why the Germans love their chancellor is that she avoids scandal and bling. She still resides in her modest Berlin flat rather than the airy apartments of the chancellery. She is often seen in her local supermarket. In July she wore the same dress to the Bayreuth opera as she did in 2008. Most Germans are frugal. Merkel is too. Even her earthy laugh and her addiction to text messaging signal that she is just like you.</p><p>Merkel is also a very cautious politician who hates big statements. She is often underestimated. She tends to under-promise and over-deliver. She can be ruthless in getting rid of potential political challengers but she never says a bad word about her opponents. These traits have made her politically unassailable at home.</p><p>But perhaps most important, Merkel is the epitome of German politics. Germany\'s post-war constitution (written with a little help from the Americans and British) created a political system that values caution and consensus and prevents rash decision-making. Merkel is exceptionally good at knocking heads together and getting people to agree on solutions. She has no ego. Nor is she weighed down by inflexible political principles (opposition parties rightly complain that Merkel keeps taking over their most popular ideas). The euro crisis has helped her to look even more presidential as she travels from summit to summit. She seems to float above the petty squabbles that dominate the German parliament.</p><p>Germans think the ability to create consensus is important for leadership. For Britons, accustomed to the adversarial politics of first-past-the-post voting and prime minister\'s question time, this is almost impossible to understand. Merkel simply would not work in Westminster. The Germans, on the other hand, would probably find most British leaders loud-mouthed, impulsive and unnecessarily combative in style.</p><p>In any case, the differences between Germany and the rest of Europe are somewhat exaggerated. The media loves Merkel-bashing but Europeans seem to hold her in grudging respect. Earlier this year, the Pew Global Attitude Project found that in all large European countries people gave Merkel higher marks for handling the euro crisis than their own respective leaders. Two-thirds of Britons applauded Merkel, but only 51 per cent thought Cameron was doing well. Also, the British-German love-in at the last EU summit (where Merkel backed Cameron\'s veto of a bigger EU budget) has revealed that Merkel and Cameron can make common cause.</p><p>Merkel is a euro pragmatist. She firmly believes in the economic and political benefits that European integration brings for Germany. But she is no bleary-eyed federalist. In that sense, she is closer to most British politicians than to former German leaders such as Helmut Kohl or Hans-Dietrich Genscher. But make no mistake: this also means that Merkel will stand up for German national interests whenever that is necessary. This new German assertiveness will keep Merkel\'s approval ratings up at home but it will put her at odds with other Europeans.</p>', created = 1498572144, expire = 1498658544, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '3:803b88de58db6a63120198ed4bdff17d' in /home/cer/staging/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './cer_staging/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>\"The consequences are likely to be far-reaching. Not only will governments struggle to push through the needed reforms, but there is a risk of a broader backlash against the market economy and the European Union,\" said Simon Tilford of the CER,</p><p></p><p>The risk, however, is that these and other structural reforms become discredited because voters associate them with declining living standards and rising inequality, according to Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform, a London think tank. \"The consequences are likely to be far-reaching. Not only will governments struggle to push through the needed reforms, but there is a risk of a broader backlash against the market economy and the European Union,\" he said.</p>', created = 1498572144, expire = 1498658544, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '3:a0105a06fbb973e3b5108beee2b9f742' in /home/cer/staging/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './cer_staging/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>\"The consequences are likely to be far-reaching. Not only will governments struggle to push through the needed reforms, but there is a risk of a broader backlash against the market economy and the European Union,\" said Simon Tilford of the CER,</p><p></p>', created = 1498572144, expire = 1498658544, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '3:2778adf9e1ff3311837d4917e34b5cfe' in /home/cer/staging/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './cer_staging/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>According to Philip Whyte, a senior research fellow at the&nbsp;CER in London, to accept that the eurozone suffers from a structural flaw that can only be corrected by more federalism is politically explosive. In his <a href=\"http://www.cer.org.uk/sites/default/files/publications/attachments/pdf/2012/essay_bankingunion_5dec12-6704.pdf\" target=\"_blank\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"><span style=\"color: rgb(0, 102, 204);\">analysis</span></span></a>, he points out that a more federal structure goes at the heart of sovereignty because it allows European bodies to dictate the fate of national banks, putting taxpayers\' money at the disposal of the eurozone to solve problems in other member states. This is the reason, the analyst believes, why it takes so much time to accept the idea of a banking union and all its implications.</p><p>It is clear that a fully fledged banking union in the euro area will not emerge any time soon, Philip Whyte writes, because political constraints are too big. Acquiescing a partial federalisation, embodied in the supervisory mechanism for the banks, however, will not solve the problems, the analyst is convinced underscoring that the rest of the bitter medicine - direct recapitalisation of banks, creating a resolution mechanism and deposit guarantees - cannot be avoided. Moreover, he explains, partial solution creates another problem - destabilisation of the EU-27 by diminishing the status of the non-euro countries.</p>', created = 1498572144, expire = 1498658544, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '3:ce93cc6ce230422e1cfd1c41a4735734' in /home/cer/staging/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './cer_staging/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>According to Philip Whyte, a senior research fellow at the&nbsp;CER in London, to accept that the eurozone suffers from a structural flaw that can only be corrected by more federalism is politically explosive. </p>', created = 1498572144, expire = 1498658544, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '3:99e4bd91606e8192f07cc9ba49dbcd04' in /home/cer/staging/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './cer_staging/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>\"For two decades Britain\'s EU debate has been one-sided: Eurosceptic politicians and commentators have set the agenda, while few politicians (or business leaders) have argued the merits of the EU,\" Charles Grant of the CER wrote in a recent paper. \"Pro-EU politicians have seen the short-term advantages of saying little about an unpopular subject. So they have lost the argument by default.\"</p>', created = 1498572144, expire = 1498658544, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '3:233339d68a8a06c84db000c563b06502' in /home/cer/staging/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './cer_staging/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>\"For two decades Britain\'s EU debate has been one-sided: Eurosceptic politicians and commentators have set the agenda, while few politicians (or business leaders) have argued the merits of the EU,\" Charles Grant of the CER wrote in a recent paper.</p>', created = 1498572144, expire = 1498658544, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '3:e256a2ee010e8de98e588d195c312a05' in /home/cer/staging/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './cer_staging/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>Europe\'s common security policy is \"stuck between the strategic realities of declining defence budgets, waning European power in the world and a lack of will and ability to project strategic force outward\", said Hugo Brady, a senior research fellow at the CER.&nbsp;\"And on the other side, political inertia to do serious stuff in defence.\"</p>', created = 1498572144, expire = 1498658544, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '3:3227d4f886a611271ccddf1b6a607299' in /home/cer/staging/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './cer_staging/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>\"È stata una risposta un po\' emotiva - precisa Philip Whyte economista del think-tank Centre for European Reform - nel senso che i timori politici sono apparsi dominanti sulle considerazioni tecniche\".</p>', created = 1498572144, expire = 1498658544, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '3:2d2a95bc47e87c107a40d6395646833f' in /home/cer/staging/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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The genius of Merkel - Germans love her, Europe loathes her. Why?

The genius of Merkel - Germans love her, Europe loathes her. Why?

Written by Katinka Barysch, 12 December 2012
From Prospect

Greek newspapers like to portray German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Nazi uniform. The Italian daily Libero has greeted her with a rude Vaffanmerkel! on its cover. The New Statesman has declared her "Europe's most dangerous leader." Many here in Britain think that Merkel's austerity drive is destroying the euro. In my home country Germany, meanwhile, Merkel is the most popular politician bar none. She is almost guaranteed to be re-elected for a third term in 2013. Why do the Germans cheer their leader while the rest of Europe seems to loathe her?

One fundamental reason for Merkel's persistent popularity is the German economy. It's hard to imagine if you sit in Greece, Spain or even depressed Britain. But German output has risen by around 8 per cent since the start of the euro crisis, according to the German economics ministry. The German export juggernaut is purring along nicely. Unemployment is at a record low and wages are finally rising. What's not to like?

The Germans give Merkel a lot of credit for having protected them against the crisis. That credit is not fully earned—the labour market reforms pushed through by her predecessor Gerhard Schröder have a lot to do with Germany's current success; as does strong Asian demand for German cars and machine tools and a modestly priced euro. But Merkel appears careful not to squander taxpayers' money on euro bailouts and she is tough on southern European countries that are slow to reform. Most Germans wholeheartedly approve of Merkel's handling of the euro crisis.

Another reason why the Germans love their chancellor is that she avoids scandal and bling. She still resides in her modest Berlin flat rather than the airy apartments of the chancellery. She is often seen in her local supermarket. In July she wore the same dress to the Bayreuth opera as she did in 2008. Most Germans are frugal. Merkel is too. Even her earthy laugh and her addiction to text messaging signal that she is just like you.

Merkel is also a very cautious politician who hates big statements. She is often underestimated. She tends to under-promise and over-deliver. She can be ruthless in getting rid of potential political challengers but she never says a bad word about her opponents. These traits have made her politically unassailable at home.

But perhaps most important, Merkel is the epitome of German politics. Germany's post-war constitution (written with a little help from the Americans and British) created a political system that values caution and consensus and prevents rash decision-making. Merkel is exceptionally good at knocking heads together and getting people to agree on solutions. She has no ego. Nor is she weighed down by inflexible political principles (opposition parties rightly complain that Merkel keeps taking over their most popular ideas). The euro crisis has helped her to look even more presidential as she travels from summit to summit. She seems to float above the petty squabbles that dominate the German parliament.

Germans think the ability to create consensus is important for leadership. For Britons, accustomed to the adversarial politics of first-past-the-post voting and prime minister's question time, this is almost impossible to understand. Merkel simply would not work in Westminster. The Germans, on the other hand, would probably find most British leaders loud-mouthed, impulsive and unnecessarily combative in style.

In any case, the differences between Germany and the rest of Europe are somewhat exaggerated. The media loves Merkel-bashing but Europeans seem to hold her in grudging respect. Earlier this year, the Pew Global Attitude Project found that in all large European countries people gave Merkel higher marks for handling the euro crisis than their own respective leaders. Two-thirds of Britons applauded Merkel, but only 51 per cent thought Cameron was doing well. Also, the British-German love-in at the last EU summit (where Merkel backed Cameron's veto of a bigger EU budget) has revealed that Merkel and Cameron can make common cause.

Merkel is a euro pragmatist. She firmly believes in the economic and political benefits that European integration brings for Germany. But she is no bleary-eyed federalist. In that sense, she is closer to most British politicians than to former German leaders such as Helmut Kohl or Hans-Dietrich Genscher. But make no mistake: this also means that Merkel will stand up for German national interests whenever that is necessary. This new German assertiveness will keep Merkel's approval ratings up at home but it will put her at odds with other Europeans.