26 Dec 2014, 17:37
Text: Ekaterina Neroznikova
Angela Merkel became the man of the year by the British magazine The Times. While in the UK to vote for withdrawal from the EU, the epitome of which is the Chancellor of Germany. Influence Merkel on the world stage is really big, but inside of Germany’s emerging new challenges the Chancellor to cope until you can.
A difficult year for the Chancellor
German Chancellor Angela Merkel received the title of man of the year. Her achievements in politics praised popular magazine of The Times. Merkel has shown herself as an indispensable cardinal this year, when relations between East and West were strained to the limit, according to The Times. She took control of the negotiations between Moscow and the West after the annexation of Crimea to Russia. “Merkel is a prominent European politician and one of the most powerful women in the world, – writes the edition. – A woman needs in a world full of dangerous men.”
Angela Merkel throughout the year acted as a negotiator between Russia and the US, which drew the attention of the Guardian. The German Chancellor has talked to Putin more often than any other world leader: they spent 35 telephone conversations during the first eight months of 2014, noted in the publication from December 22. In addition, it was reported that Merkel is still the world leader, which is most often spoken by President Barack Obama. The “battle” for Europe is not over, and 2015 can bring new challenges, but in 2014, the political leader of the year was exactly Merkel, concludes the author.
While Merkel strengthens its position in the international arena, within the country it is planned to increase protest activity. The occasion was a huge number of migrants, the arrival of which the Chancellor supported. So, in Dresden December 22, was already the tenth protest, initiated the organization of the “Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West” (Pegida). Only for October and December the number of demonstrators grew from 500 people to 17 thousand. The protesters are demanding the tightening of immigration policy in Germany.
And some countries are seriously ready to leave the EU, showed a survey conducted in great Britain by order of the International research center Gallup. 51 percent of citizens voted for secession from the EU, while 49 percent of respondents voted for holding this referendum question. The result of the survey shows negative attitude of citizens to Brussels, said the British eurosceptics. “The more the British are faced with strict limitations and requirements to increase contributions to the Treasury of the European Union, the more they desire to leave the organization”, – said the Deputy from party Ukip mark Reckless. According to him, Europe should not dominate and define the rules for trade with the EU. “Despite the massive propaganda, more and more people begin to realize that will only get better after the country’s withdrawal from the EU”, – adds the MP from labour’s Kate hoy. Another important factor of discontent was soft migration policy, the conductor of which was Angela Merkel.
Recall that British Prime Minister David Cameron has promised voters in 2017 to hold a referendum on membership of the Kingdom in the EU. Until that time, plans to reform the relationship with the EU so that they are more satisfied population.
The figure of Angela Merkel as the extraordinary success of her policy, it is highly controversial, said in an interview with the newspaper VIEW leading researcher of the Center for German studies Institute of Europe Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Kamkin. “Some admire it, others, like Helmut Kohl, I think its full of mediocrity and dullness”, – he reminded.
However, in the framework of the EU Merkel really has no competitors, he said. “Cameron, too, has charisma, but the rate of isolation of Britain from European Affairs does not allow him to be a recognized authority in the EU. Hollande is not worth to be taken seriously as a political leader,” he said. But leadership Merkel is only temporary, I’m sure Kamkin. “Soon, marine Le Pen had the right to challenge Angela Merkel, becoming the most charismatic politician,” he said.
The fact that the British newspaper chose Merkel, who has a lot of contradictions with Prime Minister Cameron, man of the year, not surprising Kamkina. “Their rating is not intended to oppose Merkel and British politicians. This refers to the overall context. She put in plus the sanctions policy of the EU, the main mouthpiece which was Merkel. Cameron and Hollande also made the voices in this choir, but the most rigid position was occupied by Merkel. She was between two fires. On the one hand, the dictates of Washington about the necessity of sanctions, on the other – the resistance of your own business, which never tires of talking about the dangers of sanctions. But Merkel is, as an icebreaker, despite the pressure that is on all sides”.
“Merkel, from the point of view of The Times, achieved a lot, and it has United European countries in relation to the position of the Crimea, – said in a conversation with the newspaper VIEW leading researcher of the Department on European political studies, IMEMO ran Alexander Kokeev. – She trimmed the positions of anti-Russian Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and more Pro Italy, France. Merkel took the middle position and insists on the need to maintain dialogue with Russia, regardless with its security interests. On the other hand, she always insists on the inadmissibility of actions on the part of Russia. These are the merits that I see the Europeans,” – said the expert.
“The increased role of Germany in European Affairs is obvious. Some say that it is under pressure from the United States and of the state Department, but I don’t agree with it, ” says Kokeev. – In spite of the rigidity in relation to Russia, the Minister of foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier most active contact with Russia. Such contacts is not the Americans, the Dutch, even the French. So Germany is something to praise,” – said Kokeev.
“Now Europe is more stable than three or four years ago, at the peak of the crisis,” – concludes Alexander Kokeev. Merkel has made a great contribution to the creation of this stability, handing out money to European countries, says the expert. “Germany has contributed to the pulling out of the crisis Greece, Spain, Italy and southern Europe, reminded Kokeev. – Some problems resolved, but there are new, different kind. And some analysts already say that there are prospects of slipping into another recession,” he notes.
If the external level is Merkel really acts as a stabilizing figure, on the internal stability in Germany is uncertain, reminiscent of Alexander Kokeev. “The country is becoming less stable and homogeneous. Talked about this and the emergence of the party “Alternative for Germany” and anti-immigrant demonstrations. Indeed, the number of visitors would cross all possible limits. Fears of Germans are associated with outbreaks of terrorist activity that became more frequent lately. There is also the psychological aspect, some historical heritage in the Eastern länder of Germany in the former GDR. After all, there is the success of “Alternative”, and the demonstrations were in Dresden. All this indicates instability,” – said Kokeev.
“Germany was famous for the most liberal policy towards migration. But now the authorities have to do something to relieve the tension, so the policy Merkel will become more rigid. Already, a growing number of rejected requests for political asylum, – draws attention the expert. Today was set on fire a mosque in Sweden, and the news are coming every day. So these changes have affected not only Germany” – reminds Kokeev.
Anti-immigrant sentiment give Merkel a very narrow space for maneuver in the country, I am confident and Alexander Kamkin. “On the one hand, persecution of “Alternatives for Germany” and the sharp protests against Pegida have put her in the position of supporters of attracting more migrants. With another – the situation in the country is heating up, and with it nobody argues” – says the expert.
“The question of the ethnic picture of Germany becoming the new national question – sure Kamkin. – If you take the post-war Europe, razvorotom was a reunion of the Western and Eastern parts of Germany. After the unification of the Germans some time in euphoria, and now they faced new challenges. In some cities, such as Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, there were whole ghetto populated by migrants. The total number reaches 40, 50, and in some places 60 percent of the total number of residents. It can not cause confusion among the indigenous population”, – said the expert.
Many argue that under the guise of refugees in Germany come the radical Islamists who fought in ISIS, “the al-Nusra Front” and other groups, says Kamkin. “The people are the voices against, and demonstrations of Pegida, which on Monday collected 17 thousand people, and in the new year will bring even more power openly talking about it. Just ignore them, calling neo-Nazis and blaming the resistance path of development, not constructive. So Merkel will have to make changes, in which it will be able to save political face,” – said the expert.
Despite the fact that Merkel skillfully eliminated all more or less charismatic leaders who could work around it in the next elections to the Bundestag, its influence becomes smaller. “Merkel era coming to an end,” – says Kamkin.
The European Union is in a position of deep crisis, thereby strengthening the mood of the British withdrawal from the EU, said in an interview with the newspaper VIEW Dean of the faculty of world economy and world politics HSE Sergei Karaganov. “As Merkel – the most powerful figure in the EU, the European project is becoming more German. This causes discontent in a large number of European countries who do not want to work effectively for less money, as it requires them to Germany. Germany feels responsible for the preservation of the European integration project, which is bursting at the seams,” said the Karaganov.
The Union of love
The frequent contacts of Angela Merkel with President Barack Obama and Russian leader Vladimir Putin and support for the us sanctions policy became an occasion to accuse the Chancellor of Germany in the United States. Hard pressure on Merkel I don’t see, but it is possible that it affects the fact that America strengthens position in the global economy, while Europe is weakening, says Sergei Karaganov. And the Europeans of the type Merkel would “lean” to the States. So there is a connection by mutual consent”.
Direction Merkel in the United States Karaganov explains from the point of view of benefits for Germany. “In recent years, the German ruling circles there is a growing disillusionment in Russia. First, due to the fact that it rejected the way the Junior partner, the EU proposed to her. Second, it is no longer such a promising market, while the US market is an interesting and growing”.