If Marine Le Pen were to become the French president, it would be a catastrophe for everyone who wants an open and functioning Europe. Although, admittedly, it is a catastrophe we could have seen coming. The date for the second, decisive round of the French presidential election, May 7, has been set for months. For many months now, those governing in Berlin and Brussels have been able to follow how the head of the Front National has been coming closer, step by measured step, to her goal, the top seat in the Élysée Palace.
Which begs the question: what will the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her fellow leaders do if the worst was to happen. What are their plans for the day after?
Anyone listening in, along the hallways of ministries in Berlin and Brussels and in business and government circles will make an astounding discovery. Everyone is spending their days anxious. Whether minister or diplomat, banker or European commissioner, they are hoping and fearing, trying not to think about it and wringing their hands. There is just one thing they are obviously not doing: They are not preparing for the worst.