Ged Carroll

Angela Merkel + more things

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Angela Merkel

The elections in Germany marks the end of 16 years run with Angela Merkel as the Chancellor of Germany. Helmut Kohl was in office for only slightly longer. It feels like the end of an age, and in one sense it is.

Most Germans believe their ‘golden age’ is over, poll finds – “These findings suggest that, while Angela Merkel has cemented Germany’s position as a great European power, the cornerstones of her legacy – neutrality and consensus building – will not be enough to defend the unity of the EU, and its place in the world, in the years to come.” Germans will head to the polls on September 26 to elect a new parliament and choose a successor to Mrs Merkel, who has served as chancellor since 2005. Her own party, the Christian Democratic Union, is lagging its coalition partner, the centre-left Social Democrat Party, in polls. Mrs Merkel’s SPD finance minister, Olaf Scholz, is likely to become the next chancellor.  

Angela Merkel’s legacy is complex. She struck up relationships that were bad for Europe and strategic rivals of Germany:

Democratic capitalism in crisis

Angela Merkel helped facilitate the rise of Viktor Orban in Hungary and facilitated similar a populist movement in Poland. Not actively, but by inaction. Which makes this interview with Martin Wolf of the FT all the more pertinent. More related content here.

60 minutes on Hong Kong

The Hong Kong government finished its engagement with a PR agency called Consolum. This agency came up with messaging for a campaign to relaunch Hong Kong. Quite how these messages would work effectively, when there is so much material ripe for the media to work against their measurement.

Some of it is surreal. Trade unions are considered subversive. Providing allowed allowed gifts to prisoners such as shower gel and packets of M&Ms became a natural security threat.