Macron ‘won’t fill Merkel role’ says Professor Bricmont

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The European Union figurehead stepped down as Chancellor following last weekend’s German elections, ending a 16-year reign leading one of the bloc’s largest and most influential member states. But her Christian Democrats (CDU) were beaten into second place by the Social Democrats (SDU) with the latter’s candidate for Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, hoping to build a coalition by Christmas to replace the outgoing conservative-led government of Mrs Merkel. Support for new CDU leader Armin Laschet, premier of the western region of North Rhine-Westphalia, also collapsed, and he admitted after the election: “The losses have been particularly drastic in the east.”

The party’s popularity in the east continued after Mrs Merkel took over as Chancellor in 2005 but has been plummeting since she opened the door to more than a million refugees in 2015, fuelling the rise of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD).

Now the outgoing German leader has come under ferocious attack, with one political leader claiming she has left the country in a worse condition that when she took over as Chancellor in 2005.

Ben-Harris-Quinney, chairman of the Bow Group think tank, said Mrs Merkel has turned her party into a “meaningless, centrist bloc in coalition with the left”, while the popularity of the coalition with the CSU has seen a steady decline.

He ​told Express.co.uk: “Merkel has turned her party into a meaningless, centrist bloc in coalition with the left, and has placed the needs of the EU and migrants ahead of her own people.

“She has moved the CDU/CSU to the left and seen a decline in the party’s popularity.

“A recent poll revealed that the vast majority of Germans believe that Germany is in decline, and they are right.

“A measure of success in leadership and management is generally whether you leave things in a better state than you found them, despite her longevity, this is not a claim Merkel can make.

Mr Harris-Quinney claimed during Merkel’s tenure Germany, home to the EU’s largest economy, “has been the principal underwriter of toxic debt in the Eurozone”, while also pointing to “huge social upheaval” after “effectively throwing Germany’s borders open during the recent migrant crises”.

The political expert added: “Since the EU’s foundation significant monies have flown from the wealthiest nations in Europe to the poorest, and this process has sped up in recent years.

“As the largest economy in the EU Germany has been a major net contributor to the EU, now paying in c.€30 billion a year.

“Germany has also been the principal underwriter of toxic debt in the Eurozone, playing a key role in bailing out nations like Greece in the post-2008 economic crisis.

Mr Harris-Quinney added: “Germany has seen a major influx of tens of millions of immigrants during Merkel’s tenure, both from the EU and the rest of the world.

“Merkel took the stance of effectively throwing Germany’s borders open during the recent migrant crises.

“This led to huge social upheaval in Germany and the use of the ironic ‘Danke Merkel’ slogan on anti-terror barriers in public places following a variety of attacks.

“Many Germans feel that as a result, Germany is less safe and less socially cohesive than it was before Merkel came to power.”

On Thursday, the deputy leader of the CDU said Germany’s political parties should be clear within the next two weeks who will take part in formal coalition talks.

Health Minister Jens Spahn told German national radio Deutschlandfunk: “It must be clear by the middle of October, which direction we are going in.”

He blamed both the election campaign management and the lack of unity of the CSU and CDU for the election defeat.

Mr Spahn warned: “This has to be dealt with.

“We all share responsibility for that.”

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