Here’s what an Angela Merkel win means for the United States:
German investor sentiment has improved by more than expected in September in readings that bode well for Chancellor Angela Merkel as she seeks a fourth term in Sunday’s national election. As David Pollard reports, an opposition campaign to highlight inequality appears to be gaining little traction with voters.
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to cruise to victory Sunday in the country’s election, giving her a record fourth term presiding over a unified Germany.
Here’s what a Merkel win means for the United States:
German media have dubbed the gains by Merkel’s Christian Democrats and leading opposition Social Democrats the “Trump Effekt” — broad voter rejection of President Trump and his anti-immigration, anti-European Union and anti-internationalist views. Only 11% of Germans consider the American president trustworthy, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.
Merkel has rebuked Trump’s policies on several occasions and called on Europeans to “take our fate into our own hands” because they no longer have a reliable American partner.
Merkel — Europe’s longest serving leader — has taken steps in the past year to blunt any anti-immigration backlash by slowing the influx of refugees to appease conservative voters. But she also has strongly condemned right-wing extremism that embraces nativist policies.
In the U.S., her victory will disappoint Trump supporters and delight his detractors.
Germany has emerged under Merkel’s steady leadership with a booming economy and a desire by most voters to keep things that way. Growth is strong, unemployment and inflation are low, real wages are rising and Germany enjoys a large budget and trade surplus.
Investors around the world already are cheering the election’s expected outcome. This means Germany can help ensure a healthy global economy and avoid another financial meltdown, something that benefits the United States at a time when its economy continues to gradually gain strength.
Merkel opposes Russian President Vladimir Putin’s support for President Bashar Assad in Syria’s civil war, as well as Russia’s support for a separatist movement in East Ukraine.
Merkel supports European Union sanctions against Russia for its intervention in Ukraine, and Germany is a loyal member of NATO, the western military alliance that Putin resents for enlisting former Russian allies.
Those views are in line with bipartisan American policy and assure that the U.S. has a close and powerful ally in keeping the world safe and stable.
Events of the past year have allowed Merkel to demonstrate that she is not only a strong leader for Germany, but for all of Europe — and maybe even the entire free world.
When the British voted last summer to leave the EU and Trump sharply criticized NATO, Merkel was an ardent defender of a united Europe and a policy of common defense. No other U.S. ally has stood up to Trump as forcefully as Merkel.
She also has been a leading critic of Russian aggression in Ukraine, played a crucial role in navigating the continent through years of financial crisis and a staunchly opposed Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris accord to combat global warming.
She led efforts to provide refuge in Europe for migrants fleeing war, persecution and poverty in the Middle East and Africa, and refused to reverse course in the face of a growing anti-immigration backlash — although she did curtail the number of new refugees admitted in Germany this year.
Her steely resolve has won her global plaudits as a role-model for women in Germany, the United States and the rest of the world.
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