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Merkel’s Misjudgement

John Rentoul

merkel 300x168 Merkels MisjudgementI may have been too harsh on David Cameron in my column for The Independent on Sunday today. I said it did not bode well for his hopes of renegotiating British terms of EU membership that he had misjudged Jean-Claude Juncker’s bid to be president of the European Commission.

Actually, though, it was Angela Merkel who misjudged it. She told Cameron she would not stand in the way of seeking a different candidate, but then had to reverse her position when her CDU party and the German media responded badly.

James Forsyth is right in the Mail on Sunday today when he says that Cameron is annoyed with Merkel for letting him down. Naturally, he has to bear the brunt of Eurocratic disapproval while she glides serenely on.

That said, Cameron’s tactic of forcing a vote at the European Council on Friday seems counter-productive. He is frustrated that other EU leaders say how useless Juncker is in private and then praise him in public, and Cameron wants to make EU deal-making more open and accountable. This is most admirable and almost childishly naive.

Telling other EU leaders they are dishonest is a poor way to make friends and influence people.

Photo: Angela Merkel addressing both Houses of Parliament in February

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  • LancashreLad

    Prof Rentoul, if he is not embarrassed by Blair’s FT odd thing and doesn’t stop saying silly things, will not be considered very clever anymore.

  • Ciaran Goggins

    Don’t worry John, Albania is joining the EU so Britain will have some nation keeping it off the bottom place for civil liberties.

  • Charles Smyth

    What has Albania done to deserve this. A country that does not refuse prisoners their vote.

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  • Ciaran Goggins

    They took Britain’s side in the ECtHR stating that a database of 2 million innocent was OK. Albania, that beckon on human rights.

  • greggf

    “Merkel’s Misjudgement”

    She has a habit of changing her mind JR, she’s done it before. Significantly so for her being a physics/chemistry graduate following the Fukushima accident and going for brown coal instead of nuclear!
    However, more to the point, your esrtwhile protégé Chuka Umunna seems to made a calamitous misjudgement with his claim that all UKIP voters can’t use the internet – it’s a moderate form of the sort of prejudice Yasmin Alibhia-Brown might come up with.

  • greggf

    Actually any misjudgement was her coalition with the SPD because it’s led to the problem vis-a-vis Cameron, which will be among many.

  • Pacificweather

    Her problem with Cameron is akin to a fly that has entered the kitchen. You could expend effort trying to swat it or you could wait until it dies of hunger and thirst.

  • greggf

    By kitchen I take it you mean the EU Pacific……..
    In which case are you suggesting that the EU is Angela’s pawn, its surrogate…..?.


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