15 years of Merkel

Angela Merkel has led the German government for 15 years. She has survived numerous crises and sat through countless rounds of negotiations with innumerable European colleagues. Europe's press hails the 66-year-old as an anchor of stability for the EU who will be difficult to replace.

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Český rozhlas (CZ) /

Still unchallenged

Writing in Český rozhlas, journalist Robert Schuster makes no secret of his admiration for Merkel's commitment:

“In view of the intensity of her battle against coronavirus, one doesn't get the feeling that she's about to retire. And it will probably once again be Merkel who resolves the current blockade of the EU budget. When Merkel took office as chancellor 15 years ago, nobody believed that a woman from actually-existing socialism would find a place for herself in the political world, whose rules were laid down by West German men with their special contacts and connections. If she leaves in less than a year's time, she won't just be the record holder in terms of length of tenure. She will also join the ranks of the great German leaders, along with Adenauer, Schmidt and Kohl.”

Delo (SI) /

Advocate of silent diplomacy

Delo is particularly impressed by the chancellor's leadership style:

“No matter who was standing before her, she knew how to deal with them. Even if it was a man with no manners like US President Donald Trump. While many people pour fuel on the fire to get their way, the German chancellor is an advocate of quiet diplomacy and avoids disputes. In other words, she prefers not to open the pressure cooker while it is cooking, but waits for it to cool down. At a time when Trump and Orbán are setting the bar for what is politically acceptable at a dangerously low level, Angela Merkel reminds us of what politicians and politics should be like.”

Webcafé (BG) /

Her successor will have big shoes to fill

Things won't be easy for whoever succeeds her, writes Webcafé:

“By this time next year it is almost certain that Germany will have a new chancellor, but who that will be is still unclear. The person Merkel nominated to succeed her as party leader, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, was not able to win the trust of the CDU base, and the other candidates can't claim that their position is particularly stable either. This poses the question: has Merkel become too big a political factor for Germany after 15 years in power? And will her successor, from whatever party he or she may come from, succeed in stepping out of 'Mutti's' shadow?”