Angela Merkel gets a welcome break from her domestic difficulties today with a stream of European visitors to the Chancellery in Berlin.
If the chancellor thinks she’s got problems, consider her guests: Italian Prime Minister Paulo Gentiloni is facing a messy election that could propel him from office; Poland’s Mateusz Morawiecki is trying to defuse a conflict with the European Union over his country’s democratic backsliding; and Theresa May has Brexit Britain on her hands.
The fact they’re all beating a path to Merkel’s door suggests that her allure as Europe’s go-to leader remains undiminished, for all her trouble forming a government. On that front too, Merkel got a boost with a poll overnight showing a broad majority among her prospective Social Democratic partners favor joining her in a “grand coalition.”
All eyes in Germany are on the ballot of Social Democratic members that begins next week. Even if it produces a No vote and fresh elections are called, the chancellor may still have options: Another poll put her bloc and the Greens within a whisker of a majority.
Merkel may well be down. But she’s not out yet.
©2018 Bloomberg L.P.