Bogatko: According to German media, failure of Timmermans's candidature is a sign of Angela Merkel's weakness



Jan Bogatko, a WNET Radio correspondent in Germany, talks about the surprise in German media, a new candidate of the EC President and Frans Timmermans's ideological roots.

Jan Bogatko comments on the surprised reaction by the German media to the candidature of Ursula von der Leyen for the President of the European Commission. There seemed to be e general belief that as Frans Timmermans was designated for that role, then that's how it was going to be. Failure of Timmermans's candidature is seen as a personal failure of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Frans Timmermans is a socialist. He comes from a very interesting party, which in the 1920s, and specifically during the Battle of Warsaw in 1920 [...] was, of course, on the side of Stalin and the victorious march of democracy across Europe and, in principle, this march for European democracy, was after all, continued by Timmermans.

As he emphasises, von der Leyen is a candidate and not a President yet. Socialists can still block her candidature. Bogatko says that the EC President in spe is a daughter of a former Minister-President of Lower Saxony Ernst Albrecht and wife of Heiko von der Leyen, part of a silk producing family knighted in the 18th century. However, they are no aristocrats, as is sometimes said in the media. WNET radio correspondent points out that the German defence minister did not overly criticise the efforts of the Polish government, however in one interview she did state that there is a "democratic resistance movement" opposing the government.

 

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