Frau Merkel has been punished by German voters for saddling them with huge tax bills to bail out the eurozone basket cases and keep the single European superstate dream alive.
President Bill Clinton swung the 1992 presidential election campaign in his favour when his chief political strategist, James Carville, hung a sign in the Clinton campaign HQ that read, It’s The Economy Stupid. The phrase focused the minds of voters on George Bush seniors economic record.
The state of the economy is the main factor in most elections, but not always. John Major famously won the UK general election of the same year into the face of an even more worse recession than the one out in the US by putting reminders of Labou’s previos economic disasters to the fromt of people’s minds.
We live in an era when every established turth seems to get turned upside down. The latest example of this is Angela Merkels Christian Democrat Union suffering a crushing defeat at the hands of the Greens in one her most solidly Christian Democrat regional strongholds, Baden-Wuerttemberg. The electoral setback, latest in a run of defeats in regional and local elections, had virtually nothing to do with the German economy, which for the time being is about the only one inEurope that is solvent. Unemployment is below pre creit crunch levels and output surging. The German economy is the economic powerhouse of the west.
Frau Merkel’s fortunes have instead been determined by mainly by events in the Eurozone basket case economies of the Club Med nations. always fringe economies in the eurozone. The German government’s decision to bail out debtor nations such as Greece, Ireland and Portugal has aroused eurosceptic emotions among German taxpayers who will have to foot the bill for their government’s commitment to the federalisation project.
Whether the German chancellor likes it not, in the wake of this result she will become more reliant on support from some failrly flaky opposition parties, which in turn will feed uncertainty about German support for further eurozone bailouts. European solidarity has always been more of a political than a popular movement with voters in most nations mistrustful of the ‘one-global-nation’ New World Order tendencies of their leaders, none more so than the Germans, which at grass roots level is probably even more eurospectic than Britain.
Germans were not given the chance to vote in a referendum on the euro, and with good reason; they would have rejected it out of hand if allowed one. Understandably, they now balk at the idea of having to bailout the profligate governments of what they see as tepramenally lazy nations. Frau Merkel is being kicked for her Ill do whatever it takes stance on saving the euro. Her political room for manoeuvre in future is being eroded with every electoral setback. With Greek and Irish voters resentful of the austerity measures imposed by the bail out agreements (Portugals is not yet finalised) and likely to bring down the fragile coalitions that run their nations the future of the Eurozone looks bleak.