POWER LIMITS

Churchill and the Chancellor

War and Conflict, World War II, Political Personalities, pic: 4th July 1940, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill leaving No 10 Downing Street for the House of Commons (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill leaving No 10 Downing Street for the House of Commons.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The chancellor’s open-arms refugee policy plays well internationally. But in Germany, communities are overwhelmed by the huge influx and people feel the crisis is out of control.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Under agreed-upon transit zones, certain areas would be set up for migrants to be kept while their applications are processed.
    • Asylum seekers from Syria and Iraq, however, could circumvent the centers because they are refugees from war and violence.
    • The transit zones would only apply for people coming from safe countries or asylum seekers hiding where they come from.
  • Audio

    Audio

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All business and politics are local. Markets and political contexts can be as global as you want – but in the final analysis, it comes down to success at home.

So the German chancellor might well regard her place among the world’s most influential people as a warning. According to the U.S. business magazine Forbes, Angela Merkel is the second most powerful person in the world, in large part because of her leadership in Europe’s refugee crisis. That ranks her behind Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, and ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama. Another publication, The Economist, called her the “indispensable European.”

But statesmen and stateswomen often find that, at the peak of their international reputation and power, they are losing influence in their own country. You don’t even have to go back as far as Great Britain’s wartime prime minister, Winston Churchill. Helmut Kohl, the father of German reunification, also was celebrated internationally. Germans on the other hand, had had enough of his politics, just a few years later.

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