As Germany prepares for a third term with Angela Merkel at the helm of Europe’s powerhouse, those in cash-strapped EU states may be reaching for the bottle, not in celebration but lamentation.
Merkel has become a hate figure in Greece where conditions attached to the bailout loan are hurting ordinary citizens and fueling political instability and Sunday’s result offers no respite.
Theodore Krintas is managing director at Attica Wealth Management: “I think for Greece, to a certain extent, it means that we have to follow the same programme as we did before. My opinion was that it would be the same for Greece one way or another. Now that Chancellor Merkel has had this kind of victory, it seems that we have to be very, very focused on our project, on our programme.”
In Portugal the prospect of more aid is looming, Spain is in a precarious financial position and Italy faces yet more political infighting at a time of deep recession.
Fatima Lanza lives in the Portuguese capital Lisbon and is clearly anti-Angela:“I would have preferred her not to win, or win less votes so the second party has more influence, some say Obama thinks he owns the world, I believe Merkel thinks she owns Europe.”
In France, in certain quarters, Merkel is seen as the queen of austerity with the current government firmly in the growth camp. For the moment Merkel supporters can drink in the victory. ‘Mutti’ (meaning ‘mother’ her affectionate nickname) herself will be engaged in coalition talks, only when complete will she turn her attention and considerable influence to Europe.