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Merkel (same as her political benefactor Helmut Kohl) was a manager, not a visionary or leader. She reacted but did not provide new ideas. Germany is an occupied country with 35,000 active duty U.S. soldiers and 40+ major U.S. military installations. This sets tight boundaries for any German 'leader' even if they aspire make changes, which was outside of Merkel's scope. The last visionary leader in Germany was Willy Brandt, who, in my opinion, promptly got taken down via a trivial but trumped-up scandal because his visionary leadership (opening to the East, dialog with Poland and Soviet Russia) threatened to become too popular with the German public. Later German 'leaders' learned from this and thus behave meekly towards their occupier.

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