She keeps saying 'no' but then she says 'yes'. She's like one of those girls who, when you place your hand on their knee say 'no' but after some endearments say 'yes'; then, as you slide you hand higher they say 'no' again, but after a gentle squeeze - 'yes'; and after all that you just know you're on a winner - unless her grumpy old dad walks in, of course!
Needless to say, I'm talking politics here, not Mrs Merkel's sex-life which, I am sure, is entirely proper. However, as Stefan Kaiser points out in Spiegel Online:
Start off by saying no. That, in a nutshell, seems to be the German government's policy when it comes to fighting the euro crisis -- one it has followed since the spring of 2010. Whether it was aid to Greece or to the expansion of the euro rescue fund, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), Chancellor Angela Merkel always started out by taking a position contrary to economic and political necessity, only to end up caving in later. The approach has not been pretty to watch, and it also tended to exacerbate the crisis.
But now, just after she said 'yes' to strenghtening the powers of the EFSF, after having previously said 'no', the heavy boots of 'Dad' can be heard approaching in the form of the Bundestag, the German parliament, or to be precise, a coterie of her own party whipped into action by an electorate which is becoming alarmed at where the 'Kaiserin' is leading them. They are threatening to vote the bill down and her majority is slim, so September 29th should be a red-letter day in your diaries.
Again, as the article in Spiegel points out, the 'Kaiserin' is trying to act all coy and virginal by insisting the EFSF will not be permitted to assist troubled European banks directly, but only via their own governments, thus placing a fig leaf in exactly the right place to save blushes all round. This cumberome arrangement is unlikely to last. The European summit in July gave the EFSF enormous powers to act as it sees fit so German politicians will have to face their electorate and explain why 'foreigners' are ransacking the German Treasury without so much as a 'guten Tag' or a 'danke'! Apparently, the Bavarians - splendid sausage-eating, beer-swilling types like us Brits - are in a fearful strop about the whole thing. As Charles Hawley explains, also in Spiegel, the 'Kaiserin's government is a coalition and the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) is a sister party to her own Christian Democratic Union (CDU). If they jib at the post all is lost. In fact, the Bavarian CSU is pushing for a legal arrangement whereby any European, er, 'colleague nation' which overspends will be invited to leave the euro common currency - and the Bavarians, apparently, will happily hold open the door!
In addition to pressure from Bavaria, she also faces torment from within her own party where a considerable number of her own CDU Bundestag members are threatening to rebel. Apparently, with her existing majority she can only afford 19 rebels. Of course, I lack expertise in this arcane area but my guess is that like our own, so-called, 'Euro-sceptics' they will huff and puff but finally fall into line. The vote is on September 29th but even if it passes, huge problems will remain, as Hawley explains:
Even should the bill ultimately pass -- the parliamentary vote is currently scheduled for Sept. 29 -- the ongoing debt crisis in the euro zone isn't likely to disappear any time soon. And neither is the skepticism. Further measures that may become necessary to prop up the common currency, it seems safe to assume, will further erode Merkel's power base.
'There will be blood' - er, metaphorical, of course - I hope!