- For more on Merkel's destructive immigration policies, see European migrant crisis
Angela Dorothea Merkel (born 17 July 1954) was elected in March 2018 to her fourth term as the chancellor of Germany, the top position for a broad coalition government. She is also the leader of the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU), historically Germany's conservative party. She has served as the chancellor of Germany since 2005, a position comparable to prime minister. She is a champion of the euro and of the mass migration of Middle Eastern and North African refugees to Europe.
Angela Dorthea Kasner Merkel was born in Hamburg but three years later he family moved to Templin, Brandenburg in East Germany. Her father, Horst Kasner, was a Protestant pastor who had studied Theology at Heidelberg University. Her mother, Herlind, was an English and Latin teacher. The Kasner family was increased when Angela's brother Marcus was born in 1957 and her sister Irene in 1964.
Merkel grew up in the Communist East Germany just outside Berlin. Merkel was educated in Templin and at the University of Leipzig, where she studied physics (1973-1978).
She worked and studied at the Central Institute for Physical Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences (1978–1990). After graduating with a doctorate in physics working in quantum chemistry. In 1989 she became involved in the growing democracy movement and, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, she got a job as government spokesperson following the first democratic elections. She joined the CDU two months before German reunification and within three months she was in Helmut Kohl's cabinet as minister for women and youth. In 1994 she was made minister for the environment.
Her East German background has stood her in good stead. For the first 36 years of her life, she honed her skills at covering up or suppressing her feelings—essential in a society where practically every room contained a Stasi informer, especially if you were a pastor's daughter. Speaking near perfect English and remarking on her background as an Ossi she says, "Anyone who really has something to say doesn't need make-up".
The September 2009 election was a major win for the right-of-center forces led by Chancellor Merkel, breaking a stalemate and opening the way for more conservative economic policies. Previously since an indecisive election in 2005 the center-right Christian Democrats formed a "grand coalition" with the center-left Social Democrats, headed by Frank-Walter Steinmeier. 2009 Merkel and her CDU formed a coalition with the liberal Free Democrats. Left in the cold was the Greens, and the ex-Communists who remain strong under the name "The Left." Merkel moved forward on tax cuts, reform of the tax code, reduction of bureaucracy and an extension of the time that nuclear power plants can continue to operate.
The victory enhanced her reputation as Europe's top political power broker, as Merkel became the first leader of a major European country to win re-election since the global financial crisis struck the previous year. Voters generally approved of her response to the recession, even though it hammered Germany's export-dependent economy and resulted in a huge amount of public debt. She countered criticism by blaming the crisis on Wall Street and engaging in a modest stimulus program.
In the 2013 election, the CDU remained Germany's strongest party, but its ally the FDP lost the election and left the parliament. Thus, the CDU created a "grand coalition" with the SPD again. The vice chancellor is Sigmar Gabriel, the chairman of the SPD.
In a campaign described as "boring", Merkel saw a challenge by the SPD's left-wing Martin Schulz, the former president of the European Parliament. Merkel was seen by some commentators to have subtly tacked towards the right on some policies such as migration and Turkey's accession to the EU – two issues she formerly was wholeheartedly in support of. In the election, the right-wing conservative Alternative for Germany entered the Bundestag after taking a historic third place with nearly 13% of the vote, while Merkel's CDU received its worst result since 1949. Despite this, Merkel continued defending her open borders policies. Merkel had trouble creating a government, with the Social Democrats initially refusing to work with her in a coalition and with the Greens and FDP being unable to agree together with the CDU. In February 2018, Merkel reached an agreement with the Social Democrats that gave the latter party a disproportionate amount of influence in her government. Six months after the election, the German Bundestag voted to give Merkel a fourth term as chancellor with her "grand coalition" with the SPD.
Merkel supports liberal and globalist policies. She allowed her party members a free vote for legalizing same-sex "marriage". In June 2017 the German parliament voted for legalizing them, including some MPs from Merkel's party, although she herself voted against it. Her nation harshly opposes homeschooling. She supports the socialist and globalist European Union and open borders. Her left-wing policies contributed significantly to the European migrant crisis. Merkel opposes patriotic policies, such as building border walls and advancing protectionism, opposes populism, and supports globalism.
Merkel fears that the EU has failed to define its common interests "for the (commercial) battles of the future" now Europe's cold war priorities of keeping "peace and freedom" have been achieved. "This is where I think Europe needs to learn a lot, not to concentrate too much on whether bicycle paths are built the same way in Portugal and north-west Germany."
Domestically, Merkel recognizes the need for change in the country's consensual model. "In Germany, we are always facing the danger that we are a little bit too slow. We have to speed up our changes."
Due to Chancellor Angela Merkel's open borders policies, more than 2.5 million refugees and migrants have flooded into Germany from outside Europe, migrants who do not share a common European heritage with their host country. In 2015 alone, Germany was invaded by nearly one million non-Western immigrants, more than double the size of Germany's standing and reserve military force. Merkel opposed setting an upper limit on the number of refugees Germany would allow in annually. It was reported in August 2017 that since 2015, when the European migrant crisis was at its height, the German Prosecutor’s Office received over 1,000 criminal complaints accusing Merkel of high treason for her actions regarding refugees and immigration.
When the German Minister of Interior Horst Seehofer stated that Islam "does not belong in Germany," Merkel quickly responded by saying that "Islam belongs to Germany." Merkel's globalist views on immigration and unwillingness to compromise conflicted with the relatively conservative views of Seehofer, something which endangered the coalition she created after the 2017 elections. Ultimately, they found a compromise which saw Merkel gain the upper hand.
Relations with Donald Trump
In October 2015, Donald Trump criticized Merkel's migration policy: "I love a safe zone for people. I do not like the migration. I do not like the people coming. Frankly, look, Europe is going to have to handle – but they're going to have riots in Germany. What's happening in Germany, I always thought Merkel was like this great leader. What she's done in Germany is insane. It is insane. They're having all sorts of attacks." In April 2018, President Trump emphasized that he has a "really great relationship" with Chancellor Merkel. According to him they both "actually have had a great relationship from the beginning."
- Clifford W. Mills. Angela Merkel (2007), 120pp; for middle schools
- Wolfgang Stock: Angela Merkel: eine politische Biographie. Neuauflage. München 2005, ISBN 3-7892-8168-9
- Milton Friedman detailed the disadvantages of the euro in "The Euro: Monetary Unity To Political Disunity?"
- Craig Whitlock, "Germany's Merkel Reelected Easily, Will Form New Coalition," Washington Post Sept. 28, 2009
- Multiple references:
- Tomlinson, Chris (September 25, 2017). Merkel’s Pyrrhic Victory: Worst Party Performance Since 1949 As Populist AfD Beat Expectations. Breitbart News. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
- Dettmer, Jamie (September 25, 2017). Germany Shaken by Far-right Political Earthquake. Voice of America. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
- Dettmer, Jamie (September 25, 2017). Merkel Wins Historic Fourth Term But Far-right Populists Surge. Voice of America. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
- Ridgwell, Henry (September 25, 2017). German Far-right Pledges to 'Reclaim Country' as Merkel Begins Tough Coalition Talks. Voice of America. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
- Chazan, Guy (September 24, 2017). Nationalist AfD make historic breakthrough in German elections. Financial Times. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
- Merkel Defends Open Borders Migrant Policy After Election Shock. Breitbart News. September 25, 2017. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
- Joffe, Josef (February 9, 2018). Angela’s Merkel government of losers. Politico. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
- Multiple references:
- Six Months After Worst Ever Election Result Angela Merkel Begins Historic Fourth Term as Chancellor. Breitbart News. March 14, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
- Angela Merkel elected for 4th term as German chancellor. Fox News. March 14, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
- Doubek, James (March 14, 2018). Germany's Angela Merkel Begins Fourth Term On Shaky Ground. NPR. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
- Thomas, Andrea; Benoit, Bertrand (March 14, 2018). Angela Merkel Starts Fourth Term Facing Big Hurdles. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
- Deacon, Liam (January 24, 2018). Merkel at Davos: Attacks ‘Walls’ and ‘Poison’ of Populism, Defends Globalism. Breitbart News. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
- The New Europeans, Robert Kunzig, National Geographic, October 2016
- Delcker, Janosch (October 2, 2017). Angela Merkel’s new refugee dilemma. Politico. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
- Tomlinson, Chris (August 31, 2017). Prosecutors Have Rejected 1,000 High Treason Charges Against Merkel For Migrant Crisis Since 2015. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
- Huggler, Justin (March 16, 2018). German interior minister declares 'Islam does not belong' in the country. The Telegraph. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
- Hale, Virginia (March 16, 2018). ‘Islam Belongs to Germany’, Merkel Insists After Minister Highlights Nation’s Christian Heritage. Breitbart News. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
- Merkel contradicts interior minister, saying ‘Islam belongs to Germany’. The Local. March 16, 2018. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
- Multiple references:
- Irvine, Chris (June 15, 2018). Angela Merkel's German government facing collapse over her immigration stance. Fox News. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
- Tomlinson, Chris (June 16, 2018). New Migrant Crisis Threatens to Bring Down Merkel in 48 Hours. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
- Duke, Selwyn (June 18, 2018). Muslim Migration May Topple EU — Starting With Angela Merkel’s Government. The New American. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- Defiant Merkel backs Europe migrant policy as Bavaria row simmers. Reuters. June 16, 2018. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
- Merkel, allies heading for showdown over immigration policy. Fox News (from the Associated Press). June 13, 2018. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
- Multiple references:
- Lane, Oliver JJ (July 2, 2018). Merkel Germany Coalition Limps on as Immigration Control Compromise Struck. Breitbart News. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
- Escritt, Thomas; Chambers, Madeline (July 2, 2018). Merkel to fight another day after settling migration row. Reuters. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
- Byas, Steve (July 3, 2018). Immigration Compromise Saves Merkel Government in Germany — for Now. The New American. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
- Keneally, Meghan (July 6, 2017). What Trump and Merkel have said about each other ABC News. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
- Fredericks, Bob (April 27, 2018). Trump praises ‘great relationship’ with Merkel during White House visit New York Post. Retrieved May 8, 2018.