EU cracks showing as Merkel faces ‘economic decline and approval ratings in free fall’

Macron is 'untethered' without Angela Merkel says expert

Some 80 percent of voters were pleased with ‘s management of the coronavirus crisis, according to a poll by broadcaster ZDF’s Forschungsgruppe Wahlen published in June. However, the sluggish start to the EU’s vaccination campaign and the second wave of infections is now causing havoc in . Chief economist at the Centre for European Reform Christian Odendahl recently wrote on Twitter, attaching a picture of a survey by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: “Approval rating of Merkel‘s government is in free fall, on the back of the vaccine disaster and mishandling of the second wave.”

The graph shows that only 49 percent of voters now believe Mrs Merkel’s government is doing a good job at handling the crisis.

On the other hand, 42 percent of voters are critical – up from 15 percent in August.

Mr Odendahl added: “This is not bad news just for Jens Spahn [the Health Minister].

“The state Prime Ministers are in charge of the lockdowns etc, so Laschet, Söder et al equally under fire.”

The poll is not the only thing Mrs Merkel has to worry about, though, as a recent survey published by FAZ reveals German companies spent 2.2 percent less on innovation last year than in 2019.

According to the head of Oxford-based think-tank Euro Intelligence Wolfgang Munchau, this report is significant as spending on innovation is a barometer for future productivity growth.

He explained: “FAZ says one of the factors is , which has added to the uncertainties of the pandemic. Another factor – which is not reflected in the data – is a reduced efficiency of the investments.

“ZEW, which conducted the survey for the federal education ministry, produced a metric that ranks successful innovations relative to turnover. There are no data available for 2020, but the metric al’s vulnerability to that one sector.

He concluded: “Another problem is the lack of digital investments. Germany’s tendency to double down on analogue technologies, like diesel cars, and the failure to invest in digital technologies is showing through in the data.

“Just as it took a long time for the misallocation to affect investments and productivity growth, it will take a long time for catch-up investments in digital technologies to reverse.

“What we expect to see in is a period of relative economic decline ahead – relative to the world, but also relative to other countries in the eurozone.”

The survey might have raised alarm bells in the , as according to German MEP Gunnar Beck the bloc will start crumbling when German money runs out.

He told “EU leaders absolutely want European integration… why?

“It’s a mystery to me because, so far, they haven’t been successful.

“The European Community was relatively successful but things started going down the drain with the single currency and so on.

“The economic performance of the last 25 years has been abysmal.”

Mr Beck noted: “But will the break up?

“That depends on how much German money is left.

“The EU will come under extreme strain when German money runs out.

“The German economy performed well until two, three years ago but now it is not performing that well compared to other successful economies in the world.

“Its fiscal situation is deteriorating quite fast.”


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