Dan O’Brien: Merkel’s successor may face existential challenges to the EU

Whatever the outcome of today’s election in Germany, it will matter a lot for Ireland’s spending and tax plans and could reopen the gap between between the ‘frugal’ northern countries and

26th September, 2021
Dan O’Brien: Merkel’s successor may face existential challenges to the EU
‘Like Ireland and many other peer countries, German politics is splintering. For decades after World War II, the two big parties – the Christian Democrats and Social Democrats – enjoyed a near duopoly on power. Then fragmentation started’. Picture: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

When Angela Merkel became chancellor in November 2005, she took over a country that was very different from the Germany of today. Then, the country at the continent’s core was still referred to as the sick man of Europe.

Germans had endured a dismal decade of sluggish economic growth and high unemployment following the post-unification boom in the early 1990s. Though hard even to conceive now, the German economic motor was at that time...

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