Thursday (July 22nd): Merkel’s friends with agreements

Name? Angela Merkel

Name? Angela Merkel

Westphalian identity? German

Age? 67

Why is he in the news? Last week we wrote about Merkel’s visit to the United States of America and her friend with disagreements Joe Biden. A central point of that Daily was that nothing had been agreed upon (except handing work over to diplomats). One week later, the diplomats delivered and found a compromise on the gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 from Russia to Germany. 

Why do we care? Because this pipeline has been a major obstacle to the transatlantic partnership (not our’s, we promise) between Merkel and three US Presidents now. Theoretically, reaching an agreement should better relations while balancing out all interests?  

Why should you care? Because we can finally stop hearing about this pipeline and focus on what is really an obstacle in US-EU relations: US jealousy of Eurovision and attempts to steal it. Before leaving office in September, Merkel should really be doing something about this! You should care 6/10 about the pipeline issue being resolved and 12 out of 10 about the Americavision(?) scandal.

Who else cares? Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as Ukraine was a major worry for the US regarding the pipeline. Merkel and Biden now agreed that Russian gas will continue to transit Ukraine (aka generate income) and that they want to turn Ukraine into a green energy exporting country. Meanwhile, Zelensky criticised that he should have been included in this process.

Any further comments? This compromise could have been achieved a long time ago as it does not significantly change anything about the 98% finished pipeline, except financial compensation for Ukraine. But given the timing, it seems like Angela Merkel is cleaning house before leaving office. First, she gets Europe on track for its Covid recovery and she is solving long-standing conflicts with allies. If she now solves the migration issue, the systemic rivalry with China and the Climate Crisis, then she is good to retire, we’d say.

Joshua Dario Hasenstab

General Coordinator