German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a session of the Bundestag in Berlin, Germany, November 21, 2017. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt
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If Angela Merkel has shown the European Union one thing over the past dozen years, it is never to underestimate her political skills.Merkel herself has underscored that she is steadfast in her determination to lead Germany for another term and at first sight there are few options – in Merkel's Germany, that translates to "Alternativlos," and in Europe, the choices beyond Merkel are very few too.Under Merkel, a more assertive Germany has often come to be seen as a blessing rather than a curse.French President Emmanuel Macron, the man with the momentum since his stunning election victory in May, is widely portrayed as putting Merkel in his shadow.When Merkel was last at the summit, she was seen with Macron, and British Prime Minister Theresa May in between them, urgently lobbying the U.K. leader for progress on Brexit negotiations.As a Frenchman, Macron knows well enough nothing moves without a strong Germany on board.If Merkel has a moment of political weakness, this might be the right time.
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