Germany’s Deceptive Calm: The Hidden Rifts in Merkel’s Consensus

A protester holds a poster of German Chancellor Angela Merkel reading ‘Mrs. Merkel, here is the people’ during a rally of the Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West (PEGIDA), Dresden, Germany, Jan. 12, 2015 (AP photo by Jens Meyer).
A protester holds a poster of German Chancellor Angela Merkel reading ‘Mrs. Merkel, here is the people’ during a rally of the Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West (PEGIDA), Dresden, Germany, Jan. 12, 2015 (AP photo by Jens Meyer).
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On the surface, today’s Germany appears a model of harmony and consensus. Led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is beloved by the citizenry, Germany boasts the eurozone’s strongest economy, which has flourished even during the financial crisis and Europe-wide recession. Merkel, 60, heads up the country’s most popular party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), and has no serious challenger in sight. The current “grand coalition,” elected in 2013, is an affable partnership with the center-left Social Democrats; the trade unions and industry get along well, too. Many experts and journalists, such as George Packer in a recent profile in The […]

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