Merkel behaves differently. In the position she takes on the migrants, for example, she welcomed eight hundred thousand this year – she put moral principles first. She is the daughter of a Protestant minister, and in this case gave the highest priority to the requirement of humanity and to Germany’s need to make good for the crimes of the past. It should also be mentioned that the German constitution has a clause demanding asylum for victims of persecution. There are now signs of a serious backlash, partly due to her omission to secure support from the municipalities which have to bear the brunt of her policy. She was ahead of public opinion.
The case of her position on the Greek crisis was different. There, she did reflect public opinion in opposing heroic measures to ease the plight of the Greeks. But it is not far-fetched to assume that this, too, had its origin in her sense of morality. In her mind, because of the past conduct of Greek governments and the self-indulgent practices of the population, the country did not deserve exceptionally favorable treatment at the cost of other countries’ taxpayers.