Alejandro A. Tagliavini *
Two years ago, after an electoral setback, the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, announced that she will not seek re-election at the end of her term, in 2021, after twenty years at the head of her party, the CDU, and fifteen years at the head of the country. According to Evelyn Roll, author of a biography on Merkel, “it was a typical Angela move.” Demagogic? Time will tell.
According to Eurobarometer, 53% of Germans consider that bribery is something widespread as it is with all politicians in the world. In 1999, the “Spendenaffare” uncovered the existence of irregular donations and ended with the resignation of Chancellor Helmut Kohl who admitted having received black money for his party.
Merkel, Kohl’s “dolphin”, betrayed him and publicly called for his resignation, which paved the way for her to power. By the way, Heckler & Koch, the powerful arms manufacturer, between 2002 and 2011 donated up to 70,000 euros in support of Merkel’s CDU.
Every time the current chancellor intervenes to talk about the “pandemic”, video editors prepare to work on images that they know will end up going viral in a few hours given her magnetic “charisma”. And a few days ago, it happened again. Merkel delivered a “passionate” -not to say demagogic- speech before the Bundestag, the parliament, in which she called for a brutal closure of shops and other restrictions on the human right to freedom as if it were the State, with its characteristic inefficiency when not corruption, which must take care of health because “people at liberty are irresponsible.”
“It is not acceptable” that there are 590 deaths a day due to “covid 19”, said Merkel in a sentence with all the force of demagoguery and that achieved its mission, the massive applause. Let us compare with the objective and impartial reality.
In 2019, a total of 2,574 people died a day in Germany, meaning that the “normal” is that they die almost five times more than the figure that “is not acceptable”. Now, is there a health crisis in this country? Well, the total of deaths last year was 939,536 people, while so far in 2020 (according to Countrymeters as of 12/14/2029) 841,047 died, which projected in all of 2020 gives a figure of around 885,000. In other words, 55,000 fewer people will die in 2020 than in 2019. That is, the health of Germans has improved in 2020, you read that right, the health of Germans has improved in 2020!
The lockdowns and other restrictions favor Merkel by notoriously weakening her opponents – who oppose so many lockdowns – since, among other things, they restrict the ability to campaign proselytizing. In addition, having exercised such control in the party for twenty years has prevented the surge of a powerful relay. Hans Kundnani, author of The German Power Paradox believes that “she is incredibly efficient at eliminating its rivals … too successful.”
Before this new series of lockdowns, analysts estimated that German GDP would fall 5.4% in 2020, and now it will be worse. Evita was the mythical wife of General Perón, the Argentine “Chávez”, a populist and statist leader who produced a great decline, but less than that caused -with a white glove- by Merkel, not only because the Argentine GDP fell less (5% in 1952, the worst year) but in moral terms and in violation of the human right to freedom, which is stronger and more widespread in Germany today.
* Senior Advisor at The Cedar Portfolio and Member of the Advisory Council of the Center on Global Prosperity, de Oakland, California