By Stephen Pollard
May 7, 2007
There's a fascinating piece by Stryker McGuire in the current Newsweek on Angela Merkel - "the new Blair". Do read it all, but here's the kernel of it:
Germany's first truly Pan-European leader. Since becoming chancellor in 2005, she has grown quickly in stature. She is presiding over a sudden and extraordinary economic boom that some have dubbed Wirtschaftswunder 2.0—a second industrial miracle, not glimpsed since the golden era of the ' 60s. She's retooled the Franco-German compact that has traditionally run the European Union, establishing that Berlin increasingly calls the shots in the Union, not Paris, as she demonstrated in muscling through her famous EU budget compromise just a month after taking office. She's shaken up the cozy relationship between Germany and Russia that was a hallmark of her predecessor, Gerhard Schroder. Most significantly, she's repaired her country's relationship with the United States—so much so that Berlin is edging out London as Washington's first port of call on European matters, a shift confirmed even by several senior British government officials. Indeed these officials wouldn't quarrel with the judgment by Spiegel Online: "Merkel is the new Tony Blair."