Letter: Merkel’s record deserves a more generous assessment

Janan Ganesh, usually one of the most original FT writers, adds his voice to the chorus condemning Angela Merkel, but I fear his understanding of her country and her time is rather limited. Merkel still deserves huge credit for standing up to Donald Trump and defending the liberal order at a time when the UK indulged in Brexit, Poland and Hungary turned to authoritarianism and France was preoccupied with its domestic troubles.

While it is true that the Minsk accords did not hold, they most likely postponed war for eight years and the mere fact that both Russia and Ukraine did not abide by them suggests that no better formula could have been found to keep the peace.

She never trusted Vladimir Putin. She was wrong on Nord Stream 2 and on not investing in Germany’s military.

However, under the German rule of consensus, those two taboos could only be broken by a Social Democrat — just like only she, nominally from the traditionally conservative Christian Democrats, could have welcomed a million refugees without causing major social upheaval. Did it all go swimmingly? Of course not.

Heiner Braun
Frankfurt, Germany

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