Willy Wimmer, who also served as State Secretary to Germany’s defense minister, has provided his take on Chancellor Angela Merkel on the heels of her decision not to run for a fifth term. The problems now gripping her government began to snowball years ago, according to the retired conservative politician from the Christian Democratic Union.
“It all started at the end of the last decade when it came to the financial crisis in the year 2008. Since then, she [has] made decisions [on] her own… in rather an autocratic way.”
Merkel, who rose through the ranks of the Christian Democrats during the 1990s, is widely seen around the world as a leader who is able to come to terms with almost anyone. This is not the case at home, Wimmer argued, citing the chancellor’s decision to get rid of nuclear power and shutting down the proposal to revive the military draft.
Controversial decisions aside, Merkel proved to be allergic to fellow party leaders, the former OSCE official said. Asked about potential candidates to lead one of the world’s most developed countries, Wimmer said there are hardly any.
“When you look at the Christian Democratic Union, it’s the graveyard of victims of Merkel.”
Such situation makes it incredibly difficult to find [the] right person to replace her. These and other problems with her leadership style have taken a heavy toll on the CDU’s popularity.
“We [have been] in turmoil for quite some time and the problems in the country are getting bigger and bigger.”
Last Sunday, her party suffered a major blow in the state of Hesse. The CDU managed to get 28 percent of the vote, but the figure marked a massive drop from the 38.3 percent won during Hesse’s last election in 2013. The outcome of the election in Bavaria earlier that month was also a blow to her party.
Many in Germany blame Merkel’s opening of the borders to migrant arrivals back in 2015 which eventually led to her coalition losing support and giving way to the right-wing, Eurosceptic Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. Expanding on this, Wimmer also joined the chorus of critics.
“The results of [the] elections in Bavaria and Hessen have been the result of decisions [made] by Angela Merkel in September 2015 to [relax] the German borders without protection and to allow millions of migrants into the country without knowing who they are, what they want and which people they are,” Wimmer said.
Merkel entered politics in the wake of the 1989 German reunification and was considered a protégée of late Chancellor Helmut Kohl. She has been the leader of Europe’s powerhouse nation for over a decade, and secured her fourth and last term as chancellor in March of this year after months of political gambling.