What Angela Merkel’s exit means for Germany — and Europe

Take a look at these meetings of world leaders
from the past ten years and you’ll likely notice one figure. This is German Chancellor Angela Merkel, one
of the most influential leaders of Europe. Her leadership spans 13 years and four terms. In that span, she became one of the most powerful
women in the world. But she recently stepped down as leader of
her party and she won’t be running for re-election. By 2021, not only will Germany lose one of
its longest-serving leaders — so will Europe. Merkel has dominated European politics for decades. So how did Angela Merkel become so powerful
and what does her exit mean for Europe? The Berlin Wall divided Germany’s capital
in half for almost 3 decades. This side was part of the prosperous and democratic
West Germany. And the other side was the impoverished communist
East Germany – a satellite state of the Soviet Union. But when the Wall fell in 1989, the East unified
with the West. And Germany quickly became one of the largest
and most populous countries in Europe. This is when Angela Merkel entered politics. She was elected to be a member of the new
parliament in 1990, but rapidly rose through the ranks. By ‘94 she was Minister of the Environment. And by 2000 she was head of her political
party, the CDU. While Merkel became more important in Germany,
reunited Germany became more important in Europe. It became a leader in the European Union. There were open borders between EU member
countries, to let people and trade pass through freely. And Germany led the effort to create the “Eurozone”
where 11 EU countries adopted the Euro as a common currency in 1999. These policies made EU countries more dependent
on each other. And in the early 2000s, the EU increasingly
looked to Germany, one of its most powerful economies, to be its leader. Starting in 2005, that leadership came
from Angela Merkel. Merkel was elected Germany’s Chancellor
and demonstrated a talent for building consensus. She engineered a “grand coalition” between
Germany’s biggest political parties from the right and the left. With this alliance behind her, Merkel solved
two of Germany’s biggest economic problems. She cut huge government spending and reduced
unemployment. Her ability to stabilize Germany’s economy
became particularly important when the EU faced a crisis.: “This Eurozone crisis has gone from bad
to worse.” “It is a high stakes game where the players
are world leaders and the wager is the world’s economy.” The global economic recession in 2008 hit
Greece especially hard. The country inched towards bankruptcy and
its economic decline brought down the value of the Euro, which hurt everyone in the Eurozone. But Merkel’s Germany was weathering the
recession better than anyone in Europe. So it fell on Merkel to rescue Greece with
her economic strategy: She demanded Greece pass huge spending cuts in exchange for loans from the EU and the International Monetary Fund. These were deeply unpopular across Europe. Cutting Greece’s pensions and services were
harsh tactics. But Merkel’s priority was to retain the
integrity of the Eurozone and Greece’s debt threatened that union: Merkel eventually got the 16 Eurozone countries
to support her plan and kept the Eurozone together, cementing her role as the unparalleled
but controversial leader of Europe. Within Germany, Merkel’s popularity continued
to grow. Germans called her “Mutti,” meaning
“mother,” for taking care of their economy. She even earned her own emoji, — representing
her trademark hand-gesture. And in 2013, she won her third term as Chancellor, but this term would turn out to be very different than the others. “The number of migrants coming in to Europe this year alone is now at more than 500,000.” “Almost 900 people drowned as they attempted the crossing from Libya to the EU. “Some countries are greeting them with open arms. Others are setting up fences with barbed wire on top.” In 2015, more than 1 million refugees fled
conflicts in Northern Africa and the Middle East and migrated to Europe. Merkel called on EU leaders to help take in
refugees. But several European nations pushed back,
as nationalist politicians in these countries
stoked anti-immigrant fears. This time, Merkel could not build a consensus. Migrants piled up in Europe’s southern countries,
causing a humanitarian crisis while undermining the solidarity of the EU. So Merkel acted alone. In 2015, Germany granted asylum to over 140
thousand migrants — more than any other European country. At first things went well. 33% of Germans said the country could take
on additional asylum-seekers. Many even met incoming trains carrying migrants
with support and supplies. But on New Year’s eve in 2015 the situation
changed. “A day after the allegations of mass sexual
assault were made public, Cologne continues to search for the perpetrators and for answers.” “The attackers are described as young men of Arab or
North African appearance.” A rash of sexual assaults and thefts changed
public opinion. After the attacks in Cologne, only 18% of
Germans felt the country could take in more asylees. And German public opinion reversed on Merkel too. A far-right party called the Alternative for
Germany or AfD, seized on the anti-immigrant sentiment among voters. 1.5 million voters who had previously backed Merkel’s
Grand Coalition in 2013, switched their support and voted for the AfD in 2017. Having lost support for her coalition government
in 2018, Merkel decided to step down as leader of her party, though she’ll remain Germany’s
Chancellor until her term ends in 2021. Merkel’s party recently elected Annegret
Kramp-Karrenbauer, as its next leader. She’s a moderate Merkel ally who could
very well become Germany’s next Chancellor. But for the rest of Europe, Merkel’s absence
could be more unsettling. Since the Eurozone and migrant crises, Europe
has seen nationalist political parties gain popularity in recent elections, threatening
the unity of the EU. And Merkel has gone from being a champion
of a united Europe to its last remaining strong defender. With Merkel stepping away, these nationalist
leaders could gain influence over the future of the European Union. And that’s something Merkel is very aware
of. So in this video, we touched briefly on the idea of a European identity. And if that’s something you’re interested in learning more about, you should check out this really great doc. called the “Story of Europe” on CuriosityStream. It walks you through the different chapters of European history. CuriosityStream is a subscription service that offers over 2,000 documentary and nonfiction titles from some of the world’s best filmmakers. You can get unlimited access to CuriosityStream starting at $2.99 a month and because you’re a Vox fan, the first 30 days are free if you sign up at curiositystream.com/vox and use promo code “Vox”.

100 thoughts on “What Angela Merkel’s exit means for Germany — and Europe

  1. unplanned and unwanted migration is a big source of a country problems, due to economic reasons, culture reasons, resources not being spent on the locals as much such as schools being over packed and lost of culture for the natives.

  2. They should stay in their own country. Cultures dont mix. And don’t think they will integrate, they dont. They
    Mistreat their women , the let women do all the work. Get them out or they will destroy Europe.

  3. Her exit is the reality of immigration politics, you can’t take them all when only a few countries are willing.

  4. Unfortunately, the GUILT ridden Germans are DOOMED to disappear along with the rest of Europes Indiginoues white people.

  5. Angela leaving means Reborn for Germany! Actually most of EU leaders need to leave as they are destroying Europe…

  6. Funny enough before the fall of communism, East Germany was more prosperous than the west in the later years, only in Berlin did it seem poor because of the west pouring capital into west Berlin.

  7. But Europe loves the left. Obama and Hillary will bomb them and Merkel will let them in. Then hand out peace prizes so they can go on tv and feel good about themselves.

  8. She became powerful like all the so called powerful . Bloodline , cult organisations etc🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪 interbreeding

  9. having a good economy means that most german jobs are minimum wage, thats makes products cheaper and gets germany the most export of europe. merkel was not good for the working people, and this also isnt good for smaller european countries, that cant export their product because german people work cheaper. she did make the rules that companies can makes the most profit. this isnt bad, but the balance is really bad. people have more insurance, but their are poor, they live from wage to wage. this is germany in times of merkel. the mininum wage was work of spd, not cdu.. like many things. i am voting green, because merkel and cdu pushed trough artikel13 and do a lot of lobbyism. spd got too similar to cdu. cdu and merkel work too much like afd, they are very conservative. people dont realize that

  10. Germany will be a chaos when the canceler goes off bc she is not in power and som other will and then it will be different.

  11. Muslims are the only people who terrorise good samaritans trying to help them. Ha ha ha very strange indeed !!

  12. I've a lot of respect for Merkel, I wish the UK could have someone in power just like her. She's done well for Germany, and is well respected. The major fault was her immigration policy. I just wish she, and other leaders of the EU could have came together to change the EU so that the UK could still be part of it. She's hit the nail on the head, we need to work together to face our problems. Now, we're slowly pulling apart.

  13. You mean the countries that care about there citizens Poland , Hungary , Czech rep . Slovakia . And more each year.

  14. Good riddance. Merkel will be remembered for creating the rise and success of the Extreme Right which is now the biggest Party in opposition in Parliament and will soon take power in Germany thanks to her liberal immigration policy.

  15. The Socialist Left parties which ruled most of Europe a few years ago and started this mass immigration policy are now all dead.
    The Liberal parties which have now replaced them, Like Merkel's and Macron's are also waning in popularity due to their continuing support for mass immigration from Arab and African countries.
    It is inevitable that the Far Right parties will be elected to power in most of Europe to stop this immigration and multiculturalism madness. This has already happened in most of the Eastern European EU countries and in Italy which have elected Far Right anti-immigration parties to power.
    This will continue to spread throughout the rest of Europe, including France and Germany, it's just a matter of time before most of Europe is Far Right.

    This is also predicted in the Bible, like Book of Revelation, Daniel and others that Europe will be united as a great power which is referred to as the rise of the Roman Empire which will shock the world.

  16. Merkel gets most of her votes from retired housewifes and yellow press readers. That´s also what her own intellectual background is. Her speeches and statements make you fall asleep. Her work shows heavy and costly mistakes, and reveal that decisions are made for her own political benefit, not for the country. Her attitudes and positions change whenever it suits her.

  17. Why can't all your Europeans vote to wall off the black and arabians while still remaining united? I really don't like the rise of nationalism, nationalism is the precursor to every major war.

  18. Germany was so safe to trvel and do biz before 2015 , i guss now its like spain frace and italy , you always have to watch your pockets in the street.

  19. Europa has nothing to do with united countries , it's basically (economical ) occupied by Germans . This is word war 3 only difference is that it's without weapons it's with money

  20. Still hard to believe that just ONE person, little Mutti Merkel, has almost single-handedly destroyed her country and most of Europe. She should be held to account.

  21. Taking in refugees isn't gonna solve anything. The root problem is those conflicts. Otherwise we'll taking in refugees for life as long as the conflicts exists. That's the harsh truth.

  22. Swear…well being of German people..
    you betrayed everyone.
    Again the Germans 🤐up Europe. You protect the so called asylum seekers and put your daughters in danger!

  23. Germany and the USA have no signed peace thready. Therefore Germany must dance to Americas fiddle. Obama went to Germany and forced Merkel to take in his Muslim Brothers. She had no right to refuse. Germany and Europe have open borders, which means Muslim could go to any country who is a member of this. Ones a country can not take anymore, they are ship' to the USA with a green cart waiting for them. Which means you can't get rid of them. If one votes for the democratic party they are giving the keys to there home and lively hood to Muslims. Soon there is nothing for you but everything for Islam. Think about it. It will clear up many things we all have to grapple with. Vote Democrats and your USA is done. Hello Islam.

  24. Nationalism Rising in Germany
    Japan Remilitarizing Again
    Grandson of Benito Mussolini runs for president in Italy

    Friends intro song

  25. If clothes, mobile phones, cars and technology are made in Asia, the Algerians, Tunisians, the sons of Walid Worfala, Morocco and the Asians are the cause of European human beings.

  26. If technology is made in Asia, how can Europeans, Africans, Americans and Australians live if Asia controls everything?

  27. You gave a continent to Asia and you buried graves in Europe, America, Australia, New Zealand and Africa, and you broke the hearts of humanity,

  28. Many civilians, civilians and families are caused by total destruction and governments are responsible for the destruction of civilians, police and police

  29. How officers and Bakeries are doing orders from governments that have caused the destruction of police, police and citizens

  30. This is what make its hard to any country accept refugee, its true its not depand on race for someone to do crime but its make refugee hardly accept in any country because they afraid of something happen

  31. Currently, she is the leader of the free world and of liberal democracy. America's stock has fallen into the gutter under the leadership of the orange manbaby in the White House and will take a long time to recover. The UK recently elected a clown to be Prime Minister and is consumed by Brexit. Canada and Australia, whilst still sensible countries are just not big enough to provide the level of global leadership needed. It therefore falls to Germany to give the world proper statesmanship and leadership otherwise so sorely lacking at this time.

  32. Merkel DID NOT reduce unemployment. That was a result of the reforms under the Schröder government!

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