breaks

Merkel Says Auf Wiedersehen to a Diminished Europe

merkel-says-auf-wiedersehen-to-a-diminished-europe

When Angela Merkel barely scraped her way into office as Germany’s chancellor in 2005, Europe’s largest economy was stalled, with unemployment at a postwar high and Germans fearful that their industrial powerhouse was fading amid growing global competition.

Ms. Merkel pledged to restore German pride and to adopt the painful changes required by globalization, while decrying her nation’s recent caution. “We lack the courage to take even the smallest step unless we can calculate its effect into the smallest detail,” Ms. Merkel lamented at the time. “Germany must stop being content with being mediocre.” A more dynamic Germany, she said, would in turn revitalize the European Union, which was losing sway to rising powers in Asia and elsewhere.

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