Vincent Boland: As the beloved Merkel moves on, so too must Germany

The country’s nostalgic regard for its departing chancellor is understandable, but Germany’s challenge now is to move off autopilot and take greater responsibility in an unstable world

Angela Merkel: ‘The Germany she bequeaths is an ambivalent global power – uncertain about how to use that power, slow to appreciate the responsibilities that truly powerful nations must assume’

Europe has experienced tremendous upheaval since the reunification of Germany in 1990, from the war in Yugoslavia to the economic crisis that almost destroyed the EU, from the eastward expansion of the EU to the exit of Britain, and from migration to the Covid-19 pandemic. The one oasis of stability is Germany itself.

Italy had 17 prime ministers in those three decades, and Britain had seven; France had five presidents; and Ireland had eight taoisigh. ...