Angela Merkel is “taking back control” – to borrow the wildly successful, emotive phrase coined by those in the UK campaigning to leave the EU last year.
The German chancellor caused a storm this Sunday, particularly in the English-language press and Twittersphere, when she declared: “The era in which we could fully rely on others is over to some extent.”
But, contrary to the hysteria about “Iron Angie” signalling a slamming of European doors on Trump USA and Brexit UK, what I mean by her “taking back control” is this:
Like the UK’s Leave campaigners, Angela Merkel is heading towards a vote. Though Germany isn’t debating EU membership, it’s in the run-up to an autumn general election.
Mrs Merkel is now on the campaign trail and not at all above injecting some populism into her politics.
President Trump is hugely unpopular among German voters and his failure to commit to the Paris climate accord, at the G7, and to Nato’s Article Five last week angered many Europeans.
Mrs Merkel’s pointed comments about no longer being able to rely fully on allies were delivered to rapturous applause while on the campaign trail in the (conservatively) pumped arena of a Munich beer hall.