German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who’s usually seen as Europe’s indispensable leader, is in danger of losing that role.
Merkel has drawn strong criticism for her handling of the continent’s refugee crisis, particularly after the mass killings of 130 people in Paris. Those attacks came at a time when Germany, arguably Europe’s real center of political power in addition to being its biggest economy, was already seeing its image suffer in Europe and in the United States.
Merkel has been a vocal advocate of admitting refugees from the Middle East and elsewhere into Europe, and has pressured other European nations to do the same. But that influence appears to be slipping.
“It’s surprising how fast the pendulum has swung. With Merkel as the queen of Europe — and now, can she finish her term?” Marc Chandler, head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman, told CNBC shortly after the Nov. 13 attacks.