Thu Jun 22nd, 2006 at 04:44:23 AM EST
From Spiegel Online via this morning's European Breakfast:
GREAT EXPECTATIONS - Allies May Be Expecting More from Merkel than She Can Deliver
Allies seem to have unlimited expectations for Germany these days, hoping that Chancellor Angela Merkel will play a key role in resolving the European Union's constitutional crisis, mediating in the Iran conflict and settling disputes with Russia. But Merkel, in an effort to avoid being saddled with impossible tasks, has balked at being pressured to play everyone else's game.(...)
The EU summit plodded along joylessly, ending in a general consensus that the biggest problem facing the organization should be postponed. Now, it will be left up to German Chancellor Angela Merkel to deal with the difficult challenge of resolving Europe's constitutional crisis when she assumes the revolving EU Council presidency next year.
The Europeans aren't the only ones with high hopes for Merkel and the Germans. Germany is playing a central role in the delicate negotiations over Iran's nuclear program, despite the fact that, unlike the remaining players, it is not one of the veto powers on the United Nations Security Council. Quarreling major powers Russia and the United States are also looking to the Germans to play the intermediary on several contentious issues, including disputes over energy, NATO expansion and Middle East policy.
So let's see, many of her allies are wanting Merkel and Germany to cure all the woes that they aren't able to cure, but Germany has no real authority to do this. Should Germany be given more authority? And does Germany want this authority?