Like many Americans, I think that Angela Merkel is the best option for Germany because her speeches break away from the SPD atlantism. Besides, the Germans know very well that radical reforms are needed at the moment. Paradoxically, the good results obtained by Linkspartei could be explained through the desperate desire by part of the German population to face traditional policy. In one way or another, confused by economic paralysis, the Germans are determined to adopt a breaking-off policy.
Today, Germany has the possibility to choose between a reform of its social system to adapt it to the globalized market and a more suitable method to the American perspective aimed at reducing taxes and encouraging consumption. The first one has been booed and the second one would be difficult to implement from the cultural and financial points of view. However, such a procedure could cause in a mid-term a reactivation of the growth in excess of 3%.
The current status of the transatlantic relations is mainly the result of the work done by Gerhard Schröder and Jacques Chirac, who did personal calculations. Both of them could have thought that a confrontation with the United States could ensure them certain national authority. But if Germany and France are able to work together different from the old anti-American tropism, the global European strategy would be strengthened. Angela Merkel’s choice could get Germany out of this sterilizing option which is distrust in the United States. Berlin would not limit its foreign policy to bilateral relations with Paris, which are differential, and in the end, an isolation factor. The access to power by personalities like Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy could cause a rapid and significant change in the transatlantic and infra-European relations. The French-German tandem could have a positive impact upon the European future on the basis of a renewed alliance with Washington.
It is difficult to know what Germany’s impact would be like in Europe, but this country, as well as the rest of the European Union, should reconsider its relations with NATO and confer to this organization a key role to turn it into the headquarters of decisions pertaining to crucial global challenges such as the situation in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Middle East. The links between Berlin, Beijing and Moscow are with Schröder, not with the continuum of the German diplomacy. The real problem of contemporary Germany is its desire to play a much more significant role in the international arena, although indirectly, through institutions like the United Nations and the European Union.

Le Figaro (France)
Circulation: 350 000 copies. Property of Socpresse (founded by Robert Hersant, it is owned today by planes manufacturer Serge Dassault). This is the reference journal of the French right.

L’alliance Merkel-Sarkozy sauverait la relation transatlantique″, by Gary Schmitt, Le Figaro, September 19, 2005.