Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing increasing divisions in her coalition government at a time when she can ill afford them.
On Monday, a senior member of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, Justice and Consumer Affairs Minister Michael Braun, was forced to resign from office in the wake of publicity surrounding allegations of his involvement in bad property deals.
Wednesday, the general secretary of Chancellor Merkel’s coalition partner, the Free Democrat Party, stepped down. Christian Lindner, an ally of the economy minister, Merkel’s Vice Chancellor Philipp Roesler, resigned over Free Democratic Party (fdp) ructions concerning the EU’s permanent bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism.
Divisions within the fdp run deep and forced the resignation of former party head, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, from the fdp general secretary’s position some months ago. His replacement, Roesler, will be seeking someone who can watch his back to replace Lindner.
To top it all off, German President Christian Wulff returned from a tour of the Middle East on Tuesday facing increasing pressure to explain a questionable loan which he received previous to his presidential appointment. His accusers maintain that by compromising standards of transparency expected of a public official, Wulff disqualified himself from acting as the nation’s moral exemplar.
Each of these situations being hyped by Germany’s liberal press risks Chancellor Merkel becoming distracted at a time when she and her government need both political focus and party unity to ensure that the goal of swiftly attending to the euro crisis is not compromised.
Already the markets are reacting negatively to perceived divisions within Germany and other nations in the wake of last Friday’s fiscal compact deal.
There are no surprises in all of this.
Germany’s coalition government has been divisive since its beginning under Merkel’s leadership. Her grasp on coalition unity is clearly slipping at a most dangerous time in both German and EU politics. Whether Merkel can last the distance till the 2013 elections is a moot point. The loss of two key coalition members in a matter of days this week does not bode well for Merkel’s continuing leadership, for coalition unity in a time of great crisis, nor, least of all, for the survival of the eurozone.
In a comment not welcomed by many EU leaders, U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey recently warned: “The eurozone is at great risk. … I know that they’ve taken some measures here with the 17 members of the eurozone to try to better align … monetary and fiscal policy. But it’s unclear, to me at least, that that will be the glue that actually holds it together.”
General Dempsey then expressed a fear that sharper analysts share, warning of “the potential for civil unrest and the breakup of the Union” (ibid). The Intelligence Digest observes that “the fears he expressed are by no means misplaced” (December 14).
To put things in true perspective, the alignment of monetary and fiscal policy, rather than being the glue to hold the EU together, is but a catalyst to break it apart. Already some EU leaders are expressing skepticism as to their being able to effectively enact necessary changes in legislation to permit operation of the pact with the speed that the current escalating crisis demands.
With Chancellor Merkel having to start placing fingers in the leaky dyke of her governing coalition, this mitigates against processing the mooted fiscal pact in the fast lane. There simply is, as yet, no glue activated to bind such a pact together over such a disparate group of 27 nations.
Editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in the April 2006 issue of the Trumpet: “So the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation existed through subsequent history as a union of two separate authorities—one giving protection to the church, the other supplying the unifying glue of a state religion to bind together the separate nations and cultures within the empire.
“Herbert W. Armstrong believed the same pattern would occur again in our time—that European nations would unite suddenly because of a crisis, and that the Roman Catholic Church would play a huge role in solving that emergency. In times of crisis, religion has a way of pulling people together!”
As farfetched as that prospect may seem to be in reference to the European Union today, it is as sure as tomorrow’s rising sun!
Our research leads us to the conclusion that the Vatican is well advanced in formulating, together with German elites, a process that will soon divide the EU apart and cement together a Roman Catholic core of 10 nations under the spiritual influence of the pope.
We are not alone in this conclusion, as future articles will point out. But we are unique in prophesying its ultimate outcome in detail that you will find from no other source.
Chancellor Merkel is between a rock and a hard place, trying to keep her governing coalition together and satisfy the domestic demands of her German constituents with an important election year looming amid the current challenges of the fiscal compact.
The road ahead is a rocky one that may even cost Merkel her political career. In the process, the way will increasingly be opened up for a Roman Catholic leader to soon sweep into power in Germany and busy himself applying the spiritual “glue” binding 10 EU nations together into a powerful economic, political and military force. The pope’s aggressive new evangelism, slated to move into higher gear in 2012, will only serve to accelerate this process.