August is a popular month for Germans to go on holiday. They take a few weeks off and head south to Italy, the Greek isles, and Mallorca—especially Mallorca. So why begrudge German chancellor Angela Merkel for taking some personal time—three weeks to be exact—and heading to the Italian Alps? Three consecutive weeks off is a bit much by American standards. But more to the point: Federal elections are now less than two months away. Shouldn’t she be campaigning? After all, there’s an immigration crisis in her country—one that many blame on Merkel. There’s the ever-present threat of terrorism too. And the economy!
Actually the German economy is humming along. Unemployment is at 3.9 percent, whereas in, say, Spain it’s around 17.8 percent. The country has a budget surplus approaching $300 billion (not that this is necessarily a good thing).
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