Merkel's power base crumbling?

Angel Merkel's refugee policy is leaving her increasingly isolated in Europe. Criticism is also growing louder within her own government. Are Merkel's days as German chancellor numbered?

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Népszabadság (HU) /

No alternative to Chancellor Merkel

Despite her controversial refugee policy there can be no talk of toppling German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the centre-left daily Népszabadság affirms:

“Although many would look on gleefully if the increasingly unpopular Merkel were toppled, it would be wrong to write off the most influential woman politician on the planet yet. Her CDU party would be committing harakiri if it tried to overthrow her with a putsch, as that would also spell the end for the grand coalition. Added to that it would be no easy job getting rid of the chancellor, who has emerged victorious from three federal elections. For a vote of no confidence to be constructive there must be an alternative candidate. Yet there is no sign of such a person as far as the eye can see. ... And the Social Democrats certainly won't help put a hardliner on refugee policy into office.”

Deutschlandfunk (DE) /

Too late for a turnaround

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is completely isolated in Europe, the public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk believes:

“The German way long ago became a separate path from the rest. And now the chancellor is holding fast to her mistake. Neither the German-Turkish government consulations on Friday nor the pledging conference and the EU summit in February will alter the fact that the truth lies on the border: 2,235, 2,596, 2,928: these figures correspond to the number of refugees on the German border in the past few days. Winter storms blow on the Mediterranean, Bavaria lies under a metre of snow - but the migrants from Syria, Afghanistan and Morocco aren't deterred. These figures represent human lives, but also a political fate: that of Angela Merkel. It's too late for a turnaround of her failed policy. Unless a miracle happens she'll either be toppled or voted out of office.”

Die Welt (DE) /

Vienna's decision good news for Merkel

The conservative daily Die Welt, by contrast, can make out several developments that work in Angela Merkel's favour:

“Now Plan B comes into force. Negotiations with North African states on taking back proven criminals and asylum seekers whose applications have been rejected. And then with Turkey and Jordan on work permits for refugees. The EU border agencies and the 'hotspots' in the Balkans are taking shape - and Austria is doing what even Merkel's partner the SPD now wants. Despite Cologne Merkel may be able to start the big election year 2016 with some positive results. And this would also work to the advantage of her political friends in Vienna, beleaguered by populists as they are.”