A beautiful speech, visionary, full of energy and energy. On the merits, all the partners of the grand coalition in power in Berlin agree with the plea of the French president before the European Parliament at Strasbourg this morning. Conservatives and Social Democrats adhere, word for word, to the tribute to European democracy, the “treasure” that has lived for 70 years a unique democratic model in the world. But the enthusiasm stops when the French president proposes concretely the creation of a budget of the euro area and a post of European Minister of Finance. For many Germans, these ambitious reforms go too far, they carry too much risk. They especially fear that in the end the German taxpayer will have to pay for the noble visions of Emmanuel Macron . The resistance is particularly strong in the ranks of the CDU, the party of Angela Merkel , and in those of the CSU, his very conservative Bavarian little sister closely followed by the AfD, the populist far-right anti-European party.
Read on this topic: “Strasbourg Parliament: What to remember from Macron’s speech”
Monday, on the eve of Emmanuel Macron’s speech in Strasbourg, conservative parliamentarians openly flatten Macronian projects and urge Angela Merkel to be cautious. They recall that we must not “ask the European Union too much. Good Europeans are not the ones who are constantly asking for new skills for the EU. A message indirectly addressed to Emmanuel Macron, this young French president whose moderators they would like to moderate. In the SPD too, caution is required. The new social democratic minister Olaf Scholz has he not taken care since his election to recall that Germany does not intend to abandon the budget balance and the austerity policy of his predecessor Wolfgang Schäuble. Engulfed for six months in endless coalition negotiations, Angela Merkel is finally at the helm of a great coalition CDU / CSU-SPD with which she will have to negotiate her European policy.
Germans are more skeptical today
If the election of Emmanuel Macron triggered a great surge of collective enthusiasm in Germany, if his speech at the Sorbonne pronounced two days after the German elections last September brought a breath, the Germans are today more skeptical. The dynamic created by the arrival of Emmanuel Macron in France seems to have fallen as a soufflé. The “transfer union”, the “indebtedness community” and the “pipeline” through which the German taxpayer’s euros will irrigate the wobbly economies of the countries of southern Europe … so many scarecrows that shake the Germans.
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Will the German government forget its European commitment? Andrea Nahles, figurehead of the SPD, sees fit to recall today that the coalition contract that serves as a roadmap to the new government for the next four years bears the title: “A new start for Europe.” The Greens even blame Angela Merkel and Olaf Scholz for abandoning Macron and its European project.
Everyone in Berlin knows that Emmanuel Macron is a busy man. The European elections of May 2019 are fast approaching. So no question for him to waste more time. After Strasbourg, he will visit Thursday the Chancellor. The dynamic in Berlin is quite different: Angela Merkel has just, with great difficulty, to close her team to the government. It has no interest in weakening this alliance between conservatives and social democrats by pushing things on a subject as sensitive as the reform of the euro area. Angela Merkel will have to be careful. The majority in the Bundestag is meager. She can not afford to lose the votes of the Conservative members.