December 2018

Goodbye to Angela Merkel

12 01 2018

Germany’s Angela Merkel faces President Donald Trump

It’s been an unexpected run for Germany’s first female chancellor, she led Europe’s greatest power through the global financial crisis, the European sovereign debt emergency and the refugee calamity. But now that run is close to being over.  Chancellor Merkel’s popularity has faded quickly.  Within the next 2 years Ms. Merkel will no longer be the leader of Germany.

Her decline in popularity started with the refugee catastrophe.  She refused to close Germany’s borders during the 2015 Syrian refugee crisis thus allowing more than 1.2 million Middle East and North African migrants to enter the country, in a period of just two years. This policy proved to be political suicide.  Before the refugee crisis, the Party she leads (CDU), had for a couple of years unfailingly polled above 40 percent; today its approval is in the mid-to-high 20s, an all-time low.

And it is not just the refugee crisis; the German economy is in trouble.  The German economy still relies far too weightily on exports. The World Bank tells us, more than 48 percent of Germany’s gross domestic product came from exports in 2018, the highest level of any major economy. The problem is; that relying on exports to other countries is risky; if those nations slow in buying your products it can deeply hurt your economy.  This is happening now; the U.S. has become more protectionist, and China isn’t buying German cars at the amount it used to.  The German economy has not collapsed but it is wavering.

President Trump is still holding the intimidation of car tariffs over the heads of Germany’s meticulous automakers, and it’s getting tougher to claim that the disagreements between Europe and the U.S. are only about trade and not about greater intentional quarrels. In the past year, President Trump has threatened the entire EU for trying to keep the Iran nuclear deal alive, proposed a speedy free trade agreement to allure the U.K. into pursuing a weaker relationship with the EU, suggested that France abandon the EU for its own trade deal with the U.S., ridiculed French President Emmanuel Macron on Twitter for advocating a European army, offered to buy Italy’s public debt more or less to fund its budget brawl with Brussels, and, repeatedly denounced Germany for its titanic trade surplus and its construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, which links the country to Russian natural gas supplies. Europe’s leading countries are no longer comfortable to be the junior partners in a relationship that doesn’t always serve their interests. Frankly, Chancellor Merkel does not know how to deal with President Trump.

Germany is making moves on the military front. The shift in Germany’s defense thinking is significant. It is in response to the matching blows of Vladimir Putin’s aggressiveness and President Donald Trump’s questioning of the advantage of NATO. President Trump has intimated that the United States might refuse to protect members that fail to meet the NATO defense spending target of 2 percent of GDP.  Germany is almost forced to focus more of its attention on defense.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel joined French President Emmanuel Macron in calling for a European army two weeks ago, accentuating that such a military would be an accompaniment to NATO, not stand in resistance to it.

The trend is now certain, Germany and much of Europe will now look to securing itself militarily and will rely less and less on American help.

In the not too distant future-we are told that political chaos in Europe (Revelation 17), will lead to a newly formed confederation of states that will be beastlike (terribly destructive). We believe that Germany will play the leading role in the end-time beast system.  We are also told in the book of Daniel, that God often removes and sets up leaders according to His purpose and insights: Daniel 2:21- He controls the course of world events; He removes kings and sets up other kings…thus we watch Europe with this in mind, and with intense interest!

European leaders will eventually choose one single dictator, the prophesied “beast,”–he will set up a system that will be extremely brutal (Revelation 17, verses 12 and 13).  European extremism will return to European cities.  Jesus Christ himself will destroy this end-time empire; and then Christ will establish the Kingdom of God on earth; that Kingdom will rule the nations with justice and force.  Europe is important-we will continue to watch events in Europe, and we will monitor closely political change in Germany -doing so with a discerning eye.  –Steven LeBlanc

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