Regular readers know that I'm no fan of Mrs M (actually, of either Mrs Ms, but it's the German one who appalls me the most). I follow the train wreck of her policy mishaps with particular interest not only because they bear heavily on environmental (and other bits of) sustainability – all that filthy brown coal being burnt and Putin gas to be imported as if there's no tomorrow – but also because half of my immediate family lives under her authoritarian* but careless eye. Whilst I'm quartered safely in Wiltshire, they are in North Rhine-Westphalia (where the bröd is wonderful but the beer is not). As a consequence of this, I follow journalists who write about Germany with especial interest, particularly William Cook, David Charter and the Economist's anonymous scribe.
Charter had an essay in the Times on Saturday in which he wrote:
"In a blistering article in Thursday’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung — the sober conservative newspaper regarded as the in-house journal of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party — the editor, Holger Steltzner, denounced the 63-year-old German chancellor. He blamed her for splitting the EU with her migrant and euro policies, contributing to Brexit by allowing too many asylum seekers in, and endangering German taxpayers’ cash with a reckless commitment to Macron’s eurozone budget plans.
Angela Merkel claims to want to prevent the division of the EU,” Steltzner wrote. “Yet with her ‘welcome policy’ and also with her euro bailout policy, she is driving several wedges between the member states. Although nobody in the chancellery wants to hear it: three years ago, she suddenly and alone decided to open the borders for more than one million migrants without consulting her EU partners (except for Austria), without clarifying their identities and entitlement to asylum.” He added: “An immediate consequence was the Brexit vote because the images of uncontrolled influx were the famous straws that broke the British back. In Germany, Merkel’s lonely decision led to a lasting surge by the protest party AfD (Alternative for Germany). The climate in society has also become increasingly toxic ever since.”
I'd have added Mrs M's panic abandonment of nuclear power to this list. Whilst this is not yet complete (and may be abandoned when she's finally forced from office), it is having an effect on electricity generation. Take the figures for last Saturday at 1100 CET when 16% of German electricity came from coal and 13 from nuclear. In the UK, those %s were 0 and 23 (28 if you include the juice growing through the French interconnector). NB, as it was another high pressure day in the UK (odd for June), wind was only contributing 9% in the UK. In Germany, it was 33%. There always seems to be more wind in Germany ...
* See my collection of modern German proverbs here.