It seems that Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has worked her way from being one of the most respected leaders to simply being dissed and disrespected.
Her peculiar and illogical support for an illegal and illegitimate government in Ukraine, to the economic and social detriment of European and German citizens, has left many asking some unthinkable questions, of a politician once thought to have been of exceptionally high moral character.
Of course many people living in Southern Europe did not need Ukraine to convince them of Merkel’s authoritarian tendencies.
After living under the devastation of her austerity programs for the better of five years, some European politicians are now openly telling the German Chancellor to just butt out of their country’s internal affairs.
Just as Angela Merkel finished reminding France and Italy (again) that they weren’t making enough progress on tightening their budgets, a left-wing French politician reacted with a tweet, reading: ‘Shut your trap, Frau Merkel! France is free.’
Maul zu, Frau #Merkel ! Frankreich ist frei. Occupez-vous de vos pauvres et de vos équipements en ruines !
— Jean-Luc Mélenchon (@JLMelenchon) December 7, 2014
The French MEP, Jean-Luc Melanchon, in the same tweet, continuing in French, told the ‘frau’ (woman) to concentrate instead on her own country’s poverty and crumbling infrastructure.
This was in response to Merkel’s warnings for the two countries to trim their spending, which she outlined in a recent interview to Die Welt am Sonntag.
The German Chancellor’s spokesman Steffen Siebert told DW that while he respects the French politician’s right to express his opinions freely, Melanchon could have picked “a friendlier formulation” for them.
Worse criticism came from the French Finance Minister Michel Sapin, who called Melanchon’s remarks “rude, insulting and stupid.” Reuters also cited the minister as saying that “Germany is in a better position now because of the reforms it did a decade ago,” he added, saying it would take some time for France to implement changes, but that thanks to efforts made already, the French are set to make even bigger headway than previously thought.
The far-left Melanchon ran for the French presidency in 2012 and has been a loud voice among critics of Merkel and her policies, often calling them “narrow-minded and very dogmatic.”
But reactions to Merkel’s economic assessments also came from Italy, whose undersecretary for EU affairs Sandro Gozi had harsh words.
“The Italian government has never permitted itself to hand out marks to a European Union member country and we ask Germany for the same respect,” he said, adding that Germany has outstanding contributions to the European cause, such as investing more and fixing the balance-of-payment imbalances, that “Europe has been waiting on Berlin to make for a long time, and which so far has not happened.”