The Morality of Angela Merkel

Angela MerkelThe German Chancellor is a successor of Otto von Bismarck, an accomplished practitioner of Realpolitik.

Otto von BismarckBismarck gave the highest priority to the strategic and economic interests of the state.

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.

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3 responses to “The Morality of Angela Merkel

  1. I agree with you; she was genuine in her reaction and I think she assumed others will follow suit, but she mistakenly presumed common grounds on values among Europeans.

  2. Elisabeth Ecker

    Germany has a very low birthrate. The influx of mostly young educated men who will blend in very quickly could very well have a positive economic effect. It will depend on how well the integration is handled.

  3. henrylotin@rogers.com

    As a fan of Chancellor Merkel, would not wish to dissuade those who cite her moral high ground. However, Germany is facing demographic time bomb of rapidly aging population and declining work force. Without major shift to younger workforce, county can not afford pensions and public services in future. If refugees stay (big if), and can be integrated into workforce (somewhat less uncertain), this could give Germany major demographic and economic lift. Here, short term adjustment pain could have profound payoff!