By NVONews.Com Correspondent,
Be it attending Euro 2012 Germany-Greece football quarter final in historic city of Gdansk in Poland on June 22 or euro zone crisis Chancellor Angela Merkel is scorned by many Greeks for being a driving force behind European Union and International Monetary Fund demands that debt-crippled Greece implement unpopular austerity measures in exchange for international bailouts worth some 240 million euros.
Not only in Greece she is emerging a much hated figure in large part of Europe, though this may not be the case within her own country. Many left-leaning and independent commentators and analysts see a sort of neo-Nazism in her.
Even the match, which the German finally won, had an echo of the growing political-economic differences between the two countries. Memories of wartime atrocities committed by Nazis were revived on the field as well as in Greece itself, where it has become extremely difficult for the people to meet two ends.
Newspapers in Athens have printed computer-generated images of an evil-looking Merkel in a Nazi uniform and earlier this year furious protestors even burned German flags.
The run-up to this week’s European Union Summit has unleashed particularly savage images and headlines.
Merkel, leader of Europe’s biggest economy is herself under pressure to solve the debt crisis, which threatens to derail the global economy.
But her approach has boosted her popularity among German voters in the countdown to next year’s election. In the continent where political deadlock and regime change has become a regular phenomenon she would obviously like to win.
Left-wing New Statesman magazine of Britain last week splashed an image of Merkel as the Terminator with a glistening robotic eye and Arnold Schwarzenegger-style black jacket on its front cover under the headline “Europe’s most dangerous leader”.
The magazine went on to call Merkel as the most dangerous leader since Hitler, more dangerous than Iran’s Mehmoud Ahmadinejad and North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un.
Similarly Independent daily has published a reproduction of Goya’s painting of “Saturn devouring his son” showing a wild-eyed Merkel, with a Greek flag as a bib, devouring a Greek.
El Jueves (Thursday) of Spain in its front page carried a caricature of a rotund Merkel squashing Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and stepping on him like a doormat.
The Economist has targeted Merkel with a cover picture of a sinking ship labelled “The World Economy” hurtling towards the sea floor with the caption “Please can we start the engines now, Mrs Merkel?”.
But her partymen, allies and supporters have stood solidly behind her, saying she can withstand the attacks and will not be swayed by provocative headlines.
But many in Germans say that the widespread criticism has made Merkel a bit irritable.
Last week’s decision to watch the football match was a conscious move to take a break and feel relieved.
Incidentally, it was in Gdansk––the place where the first shot was fired against Communism in Poland by Lech Walesa and his men in early 1980s––that this football match was held. The Germans sealed the fate of one of the most developed ancient civilizations in the football ground here. But will they do so in the field of economy too?