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President Emmanuel Macron's election in France and the likely continuation of Angela Merkel's chancellorship in Germany are dramatically at odds with developments in the rest of Europe, which has become increasingly unstable and unpredictable.Another favorite culprit, refugee inflows, has a compelling alibi: there are actually very few asylum-seekers in the countries spearheading attacks on the EU's migration policies.To identify the root of European discontent, we need to examine the long-held expectation that leadership in Europe must always come from the Franco-German partnership, which was the primary driver of European integration for decades. Owing to this history, it was long assumed that if France and Germany agree on something, the rest of Europe should simply fall into line. But during the eurozone debt crisis, which began in late 2009, power started to shift away from France, and toward Germany, and many in Europe began to regard both as bullies. Before September 2015, many Europeans believed her to be too devoted to an austerity regime that had intensified the euro crisis. Then, she led Europe's humanitarian response to the refugee crisis, earning praise from former critics but condemnation by populists and other anti-EU nationalists, particularly in the United Kingdom, France, and Central Europe.
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