Germany: Helmut Kohl: Merkel is destroying my Europe

18 July 2011
Der Spiegel

Der Spiegel, 18 July 2011

With sixteen years in power, Helmut Kohl is the “record-holding chancellor” of the Germans. He’s also the architect of reunification and of the single currency, citizen of honour of Europe and for a long time he was Angela Merkel’s spiritual father in politics. But today, “Kohl resents Merkel’s European policy,” headlines German daily Tagesspiegel. Very frugal with his political commentary, the 81-year old former chancellor nonetheless allowed some harsh comments toward the current head of government to be leaked to the German weekly Der Spiegel: “She’s destroying my Europe,” Kohl reportedly told someone close to him, adding that her policies in the eurozone crisis are “very dangerous”. The comments caused a great stir in the press and were denied by Kohl. He is now trying to turn attention to the errors of his direct successor, Social-Democrat Gerhard Schröder, responsible, Kohl says, for undermining the Stability Pact and allowing Greece to join the eurozone. But the press judges Merkel’s policies to be catastrophic because she “doesn’t know how to use her power for the common good and submits to the dictates of the moment,” sums up the Tagesspiegel.