With that absence of pomp and ceremony that is one of the characteristics of domestic German politics, the Ministers of the new German GroKo – an acronym for the grand coalition that has just been declared word of the year – lined up to swear fealty to the President of the Bundestag. In a brief and cursory audience earlier, Merkel had received the formal blessing of the federal President, Joachim Gauck.
Very little pomp indeed at the start of Angela Merkel’s third term. Two terms away from the records of Chancellors Konrad Adenauer and Helmut Kohl, one ahead of Gerhardt Schröder, and on the verge of tying with Helmut Schmidt.
Will this woman from the East enter the ranks of the great Chancellors? Much will depend on what happens to Europe, with that European Union that is usurping the continental title. Merkel came along in 2005 when the union was still making that narcissistic claim that it meant prosperity and peace. That European peace has ignored the many wars that the members of the new Europe, colonial nations, have waged away from Europe ever since the integration of the continent and that they continue to keep going today, as well as one in the Balkans that took place under its own nose. With respect to prosperity, that has simply vanished.