Wednesday, November 23, 2005

New German Chancellor wants to heal rift with US

Merkel Calls for Closer Ties With U.S. - Yahoo! News
Angela Merkel, Germany's first female chancellor, took power Tuesday saying the public was eager for the government to get to work after six months of political limbo.

She has a a tough job ahead of her. For one thing, she was barely able to put together a governing coalition, and had to merge with elements of the left-wing Social Democrats..which in turn watered down her conservative stance. Germany's economy is stagnant, and she will somehow have to jumpstart it while still catering tothe welfare state oriented leftists in her coalition.

Another pressing problem is the issue of Turkey's entry into the EU, which Merkel's party basically opposed, but the Social Democrats favored. The issue is not only one of flooding Western Europe with Islamic workers who will work for less money and/or complicate the social welfare system. Under the EU's agreements, citizens of member nations can travel anywhere in the EU with little or no scutiny or formalities. Given the problems with Islamic terrorism in the EU, this has some people worried. To say the least.

Merkel at least is making some of the right noises, pledging closer relations with the US and Britain. It remains to be seen how well she accomplishes this in view of the makeup of her government. Hals und beim gebrochen, Frau Kanzellor.

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