A poll by the European Council for Foreign Relations shows that the Portuguese are among the first European nationals who would choose Angela Merkel to be President of Europe.
The fact that there is no president of Europe is glossed over by the council which explains it is simply running a series of polls on “what Europeans expect after the German elections” – which signal Mrs Merkel’s stepping down as the country’s Chancellor, a position she has held for the last 16 years.
There is a lot of spin too in the assertion that ‘the majority of Portuguese’ would choose her as the leader of a federal Europe.
Who were the people being quizzed? We’re not told – and ‘majority’ in this case is only 52%.
The council claims 58% of the Dutch would choose Mrs Merkel, and 52% of Spanish.
How was the question phrased? SIC television news explains the majority percentages would prefer Mrs Merkel over Emmanuel Macron.
Considering Mr Macron’s recent policies have seen tens of thousands of French regularly take to the streets in protest, it may not come as a surprise that the choice of an ‘either or’ would favour Mrs Merkel.
But again one has to ask: why is this poll even being conducted?
It purportedly ran in 12 countries – and the Germans only ranked in 6th place when it came to their support for Mrs Merkel.
Pundits have been described as ‘surprised’ by the “positive expectations in relation to German leadership in questions of the economy and finance”.
Daniela Schwarzer, director of the Open Society Foundation of Europe and Asia said today that only 10 years ago, Germany was in the middle of the crisis in the Euro Zone – and not seen very sympathetically at all.
Germany was “defending the Euro Zone paradigm and controlling national politics through austerity in each of the countries affected by the economic and financial crisis”… yet now two of those countries would choose Angela Merkel to be the President of Europe.
Hasn’t the world changed, said Ms Schwarzer, suggesting: “Now, the future will depend on the composition of the (future) German government. The Christian Democrats of the CDU have been very cautious in relation to changes in the Eurozone, in questions related with risk or financial solidarity and with the use of financial instruments, as we see with the Recovery Fund. The Social Democrats of the SPD have not been much different, but there are divergences in thinking”.
SIC then goes on to outline ‘another poll’ on “the confidence of Europeans in the defence of economic interests of the the European Union, the safeguarding of direct liberties and guarantees and diplomatic relations”.
36% of all those quizzed in the 12 European countries said they were “confident about Germany in matters such as economics and finance; 35% trust Berlin to defend democracy and human rights; 25% in relations with the United States; 20% in relations with Russia and 17% in relations with the People’s Republic of China”.
The Portuguese weren’t so positive in this poll – coming in in eighth position (Hungary coming in first, and Germany third).
Said SIC, this research was presented by university lecturer Piotr Buras of the European Council on Foreign Relations who referred to the ‘end of the Merkel era’ and ‘a golden age for Germany’ in which Germans will “have to show their capacity to reinvent themselves”.