The visit of the perhaps not old, but certainly tired and highly-strung lady is unlikely to bring about any momentous change, Faggyas writes, paraphrasing the title of a play by Swiss author and dramatist Friedrich Dürrenmatt – “Der Besuch der alten Dame” (The visit of the old lady).
The official agenda is the following: the regime changes in the region that happened 30 years ago, EU affairs, international relations with a focus on the Western Balkans, Russia and Ukraine and – last but not least – forging closer economic cooperation.
Despite her current status, Merkel’s visit could still be an important one, especially considering the fact that since 2015 she has done more harm to her country and – incidentally – Europe – than the good she did between 2005 and 2015.
Merkel’s popularity is waning and her successor at the helm of the Christian-Democratic Party (CDU), Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and the leader of the Bavarian sister party Markus Söder of the Christian Social Union (CSU) are intent on conducting a “critical review” of party policies since 2015, especially in the fields of migration and refugee policy. And they want to do all this without Merkel.
It remains to be seen whether this will in effect lead to a change in German migration policy, given that Merkel intends to serve her term until 2021. But the fact remains that a tired politician with an eroded popularity is about to meet the heads of government of a group of energetic, politically and economically stable countries.
Economic issues will – as a matter of course – be central to the meeting, because Germany has 60 percent more trade relations with the V4 than it does with France. But we should not forget that – referring to the recently signed French-German Aachen pact – Merkel spoke about German-French “cooperation against rising populism and nationalism”, a clear hint to Hungary and Poland, the two countries that are most opposed to mass migration and Europe’s Islamization.
So the Bratislava visit of the tired lady is one to watch.
The summit in the Slovak capital is scheduled for February 7th.