The Guardian reports:
For nearly 14 years as Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel has defined and personified Europe’s middle ground: pragmatic, consensual, mercantilist, petit-bourgeois, above all stable. It is little wonder the leader of Mitteleuropa’s major economic power has dominated the political centre for so long.
But what if Merkel falls? Can the centre hold? These are increasingly urgent questions as the once unassailable “Mutti” struggles to hold together a fractious coalition. The immediate issue, which is likely to come to a head on Monday, is a furious row over EU immigration policy. But other problems are piling up, with unpredictable consequences for Europe’s future cohesion.
Berlin has more to lose than most if promised retaliatory EU tariffs, which Merkel failed to water down, provoke a full-blown trade war with Washington. Meanwhile, Trump’s loud-mouthed ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, openly conspires with her conservative rivals.