Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘Merkel’

Can Germany now hold the European team together?

Posted by hkarner - 1. August 2020

Date: 31‑07‑2020

Source: The Guardian Timothy Garton Ash

Angela Merkel’s triumph in brokering an EU Covid‑19 recovery package could mark the resurgence of a shared political dream 

The other day, I had a dream. I dreamed that I was sitting on a beach in the summer of 2030 and looking back on how Germany had saved Europe.

The German chancellor had brokered a European recovery package after the Covid‑19 crisis of 2020, with large grants and loans to help hard‑hit south European economies, drawing on shared European borrowing. It had maintained constructive relations between the EU and post‑Brexit Britain, helped the citizens of Poland and Hungary to defend liberal democracy, confounded Vladimir Putin by seriously committing to a common European energy policy, used the regulatory power of the EU to curb Facebook, shaped a common strategy towards China and made a world‑leading example of Europe’s green new deal.

All this Germany had done by working as “first among equals” with other European countries, while partnering with the US and other democracies around the world. In realising this ambitious agenda, it had kept its civilised, consensual style of politics and the support of its own people. What an achievement for Germany and Europe at the beginning of the 2030s. What a contrast to the beginning of the 1930s. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Merkel und Macron sind genervt von den Sparsamen Vier

Posted by hkarner - 19. Juli 2020

Date: 19‑07‑2020

Source: SPIEGEL

Platzt der Brüsseler Gipfel?

Um den Haushalt und die Corona‑Hilfen, insgesamt 1,8 Billionen Euro, wird seit zwei Tagen gestritten, vor allem um die Kontrollmechanismen.

Merkels Problem: Sie will einen Deal auf jeden Fall ‑ das wissen auch die anderen.

Emmanuel Macron und Angela Merkel

Irgendwann kurz nach Mitternacht reicht es Angela Merkel und Emmanuel Macron. Der Gipfel ist offiziell schon seit einer guten Stunde auf Sonntag vertagt, doch die deutsche Kanzlerin und Frankreichs Präsident setzen sich nochmal mit Mark Rutte aus den Niederlanden, Österreichs Kanzler Sebastian Kurz und den Regierungschefs von Schweden und den Niederlanden zusammen. Auch die finnische Regierungschefin Sanna Marin unterstützt die „Sparsamen Vier“ inzwischen.

Merkel, so ist zu hören, ist genervt, weil die Vier immer geiziger werden. Nun wollen sie den Anteil der Zuschüsse am Corona‑Hilfspaket, die nicht zurückgezahlt werden müssen, auf unter 400 Milliarden Euro drücken. Geht es nach Merkel und Macron, sollen 500 der 750 Milliarden Euro im Wiederaufbaupaket als Zuschüsse ausgezahlt werden, Ratspräsident Charles Michel hatte am Samstag als Kompromiss 450 Milliarden vorgeschlagen. Für Sonntagvormittag wird ein weiterer, wohl erneut etwas nach unten korrigierter Vorschlag erwartet.

Als Rutte auch beim Thema Rechtsstaat rote Linien definiert, reicht es Merkel und Macron

Vor allem die unnachgiebige Haltung Ruttes irritiert Merkel und Macron. Als der Niederländer auch noch beim Thema Rechtsstaat rote Linien definiert, finden sie, es reicht. Mit roten Linien hat Rutte beim Gipfel bislang nicht gespart. Rutte gibt zurück: Wenn Deutschland und Frankreich ohne vorher zu fragen einen Vorschlag über 500 Milliarden Euro machten, könnten sie nicht erwarten, dass der Rest Europas den dann einfach abnicke. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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All Eyes on Germany

Posted by hkarner - 4. Juli 2020

Date: 03‑07‑2020

Source:  by Helmut K. Anheier

Helmut K. Anheier is Professor of Sociology at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin and at Heidelberg University’s Max Weber Institute. 

Although distant observers tend to envy Germany for its relative stability and prosperity, the view from within is more complicated. As four recent books by German authors show, the country’s political class has long indulged a dangerous complacency that can no longer be justified.

Christoph Butterwegge, Die zerrissene Republik: Wirtschaftliche, soziale und politische Ungleichheit in Deutschland (The Torn Republic: Economic, Social, and Political Inequality in Germany), Weinhem, Basel: Beltz‑Juventa, 2020.

Daniel Goffart, Das Ende der Mittelschicht – Abschied von einem deutschen Erfolgsmodell (The End of the Middle Class:Farewell to a German Success Story), Berlin: Berlin Verlag, 2019.

Ulrike Herrmann, Deutschland, Ein Wirtschaftsmärchen (Germany: An Economic Fairytale), Frankfurt: Westend, 2019.

Edgar Wolfrum, Der Aufsteiger: Eine Geschichte Deutschlands von 1990 bis heute (The Climber: A History of Germany from 1990 to Today), Stuttgart: Klett‑Cotta, 2020.

BERLIN – This month, Germany will assume the rotating presidency of the European Council for the first time in 13 years. Its task will be to help lead the European Union through a period of deep uncertainty. Like the rest of the world, Europe is grappling with the ongoing COVID‑19 pandemic and the worst economic slump since World War II. European businesses and institutions are undergoing stress tests far greater than those experienced during the global financial crisis a decade ago. Complicating matters further, the geopolitical situation is quickly deteriorating, owing to an erosion of the transatlantic alliance, changing relations with China, and renewed Russian belligerence. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Germany is doomed to lead Europe

Posted by hkarner - 29. Juni 2020

Date: 25‑06‑2020

Source: The Economist: Charlemagne

The EU’s biggest member is in charge, whether Germans like it or not

Walk into any meeting in Brussels and, most likely, a German will be leading it. In the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, the former German defence minister, is in charge. For the next six months, German ministers will be cajoling their peers into signing off legislation as the country takes over the eu’s rotating presidency. In the European Council, where the bloc’s leaders butt heads, it might technically be Charles Michel, the former prime minister of Belgium, heading it. But it is Angela Merkel—longer in post than the leaders of France, Spain, Italy and Poland combined—who is the undisputed top dog. The eu’s main response to the covid‑19 crisis—a flagship €750bn recovery fund paid for with debt issued collectively by the eu—is based on a plan cooked up in Berlin and Paris. The Germans are running the show.

Usually, German power in Brussels is the political equivalent of dark matter: invisible, difficult to measure and yet everywhere. Now the Germans are stars, shining so bright as to be impossible to ignore. There was no devious Teutonic plot to grab power. Mrs von der Leyen owes her position to Emmanuel Macron, the French president, rather than patronage from Berlin. (Mr Macron pushed Mrs von der Leyen because he could not bear the thought of Manfred Weber, also a German, getting the job.) It is not Mrs Merkel’s fault that no French president has won a second term since she came to power, or that most Italian prime ministers fail to complete their first. A quirk of the calendar left Germany holding the rotating presidency. Whether they want it or not, German hands now grip the eu’s levers of power, just as the bloc overhauls itself to cope with the covid‑19 crisis. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Prehistory of Merkel’s Latest Coup

Posted by hkarner - 2. Juni 2020

Harold James is Professor of History and International Affairs at Princeton University and a senior fellow at the Center for International Governance Innovation. A specialist on German economic history and on globalization, he is a co-author of The Euro and The Battle of Ideas, and the author of The Creation and Destruction of Value: The Globalization Cycle, Krupp: A History of the Legendary German Firm, and Making the European Monetary Union.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel seems to see the historical writing on the wall. Her agreement to a €500 billion European recovery fund suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic has done what recent debt, refugee, and foreign-policy crises could not: inaugurate a new phase of the European project.

PRINCETON – Throughout her long chancellorship in Germany, Angela Merkel has repeatedly shown that she is good for a surprise. Now, she’s outdone herself.

In 2010, Merkel bucked expectations by insisting that the International Monetary Fund be included in the effort to rescue Greece. After 2011, she shut down Germany’s nuclear power plants, following the Fukushima disaster in Japan. Then, in 2015, she opened Germany’s borders to more than one million Syrian refugees. And now, she has agreed to a proposal for a joint €500 billion ($556 billion) recovery fund to help the European Union’s hardest-hit national economies through the COVID-19 crisis.Every one of these policy decisions has provoked howls of outrage in Germany, as well as hand-wringing by other Europeans who are reluctant to allow Germany an outsize leadership role. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Merkel and Macron Find the Strength for Europe

Posted by hkarner - 24. Mai 2020

Date: 22‑05‑2020

Source: DER SPIEGEL by Peter Müller

France and Germany have once again banded together for the greater good in Europe. Their show of unity was long overdue.

Germany and France have restarted the EU engine.

When Emmanuel Macron talks about a weighty new initiative, it sounds something like this: „What we have accomplished here is sensational.“ When Angela Merkel introduces the same plan, she says: „We’ve patched things up, so to speak, between Germany and France.“

In this case, the euphoria of the French president seems more appropriate than the sobriety of the German chancellor. The two want to cushion the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic with a 500 billion‑euro ($545‑billion) recovery fund that would apply to the entire EU. It’s an historic step for the bloc and a strong sign of solidarity from stronger member states toward weaker ones.

If Merkel and Macron have their way, the European Commission will be allowed to take on significant amounts of debt for the first time. The money could then be distributed as grants to member states that have been hit particularly hard by the corona crisis. And, according to the concept as it stands now, they wouldn’t even have to pay the money back. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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A Stronger Germany Could Save Europe

Posted by hkarner - 29. Januar 2020

Date: 28‑01‑2020

Source: The Wall Street Journal By Walter Russell Mead

Angela Merkel’s likely successor wants more defense spending and overseas deployments.

German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp‑Karrenbauer

It’s time for Berlin to take a more assertive stance in world affairs—that’s the opinion of German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp‑Karrenbauer. Ms. Kramp‑Karrenbauer is the heir apparent to Chancellor Angela Merkel and replaced her in 2018 as party chairman for the Christian Democratic Union. This soft‑spoken woman, known as AKK, told me her views on Germany’s position in world politics in an interview here last week and a follow‑up exchange of emails.

Germany, and for that matter Europe, can no longer go on in the old way, she said. In a new international reality marked by the “return of great‑power competition for spheres of influence and supremacy,” Germany “cannot just wait for others to act. . . . We must develop our own concepts, present our own options. . . . It is our duty as Germans, and it is very much in our own interest, to join in these international debates, to drive them forward, to play a part in protecting the international order.”

Since becoming defense minister last summer, AKK has been making waves, most notably when she delivered a speech in Munich last fall that called on Germany to raise military spending gradually to 2% of gross domestic product and urged Germans to consider deployments as far afield as the Sahel and the Indo‑Pacific. Germany already has about 1,000 troops in Mali as part of the United Nations peacekeeping mission there. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Can Merkel and Macron get Franco‑German relations back on track?

Posted by hkarner - 2. Januar 2020

Date: 02‑01‑2020

Source: The Guardian

As a year of big EU decisions begins, the bloc’s most important relationship is stuck in a rut

While the EU looks to Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, both leaders face domestic problems.

In early December, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel sat down opposite each other in Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant at the Savoy Hotel, central London, for a two‑hour tête‑à‑tête dinner. They had some talking to do.

Cordial and constructive, diplomats in Paris and Berlin said, the evening apparently cleared the air. But it will take more than a dinner to clear the structural obstacles to a relationship that is critical to what Europe can achieve in 2020.

 “The Franco‑German relationship is the single most important relationship in the EU and it’s in a totally toxic condition,” said Mark Leonard, the director of the European Council on Foreign Relations. “And it’s going to get worse before it gets better.”

There was always going to be a yawning gulf between the styles of Macron, 41, an ambitious, impatient and at times arrogant first‑time French president, and Merkel, a cautious, pragmatic, consensus‑building fourth‑time German chancellor. But if, on matters of substance, their overarching visions coincide more often than they diverge, the two leaders’ very different domestic situations have compounded their personal differences, making the relationship unproductive – or worse. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Boris Johnson’s German and French dealings

Posted by hkarner - 24. August 2019

  Date: 23-08-2019
Source: The Economist

Britain’s prime minister hopes the EU is softening its line on Brexit. It isn’t

WHEN HE became prime minister, Boris Johnson insisted that he would not be a supplicant visiting continental capitals to plead over the terms of Brexit. Unless the European Union agreed in advance to ditch the Irish backstop from the current Brexit withdrawal agreement, he would not talk to his fellow leaders at all. Instead, Britain was ready to leave the EU on October 31st, with or without a deal. Yet this week he flew to Berlin and Paris to see Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron before going on to the G7 summit in Biarritz.

Beforehand, Mr Johnson wrote to fellow European leaders to repeat that the backstop, intended to avert a hard border in Ireland in all circumstances by keeping the United Kingdom in a customs union with the EU, must go. He also insisted that, contrary to promises to adhere to many Brussels rules so as to preserve a level playing-field, Britain must have freedom to diverge from EU regulations. Despite this uncompromisingly hard line, he was politely received by the German chancellor and the French president. Mr Johnson’s supporters promptly talked up the results, claiming that Mrs Merkel had given him 30 days to produce an alternative to the backstop, while Mr Macron had conceded that the withdrawal agreement could be amended. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Does Von der Leyen Have a Chance as Commission President?

Posted by hkarner - 7. Juli 2019

Date: 05-07-2019
Source: SPIEGEL

The nomination of German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen as European Commission president came as a surprise. And many are unhappy. It not only undermines efforts to make the EU more democratic, but she may not be confirmed.

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen

And there she is. Ursula von der Leyen has taken a seat on the podium in the parliamentary group chamber of the European People’s Party (EPP) in Strasbourg, a smile glued to her face. Once the cameras have left the room, she turns to the man on her left, the biggest loser in the competition for positions of power in Brussels.

„You’re still young,“ she says, consolingly, to Manfred Weber, who was the EPP’s lead candidate in the European elections held in late May. With center-right political parties having won the election, Weber had hoped to land the job of European Commission president. But the position was handed to von der Leyen instead, a woman who has never once campaigned for a European Parliament seat or other job in Brussels. „You have demonstrated greatness,“ she told Weber, according to meeting participants.

She then switches easily to French and speaks about her childhood in Brussels and about her father, who worked for the Commission at the time. She then moves on, discussing the years she lived together with her husband in California — now speaking in English.

It was a badly needed marketing appearance for the German defense minister. Many parliamentarians are not amused by the sudden nomination and — though von der Leyen’s multilingual, self-confident speech presented a stark contrast to the prim and proper Bavarian Manfred Weber — her ultimate confirmation is far from certain. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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