Yet Merkel remains in place and it looks like she just might win again.
And Trump has issues with Germany. Of course he has issues, they're a modern economic miracle that still manufacturers stuff.
Also, Trump understands the power and competition the EU represents. Like everyone else, for so many decades, he too will do everything in his power to undermine the EU. That's unfortunate from where I sit at the geographical table - as an American, invested in Europe.
Free movement and a common currency are key and contrary to what anyone else is saying, all the members want to stay in; Germany's now taking in 1/5 the refugees and yes, the damage has been done, and yes, Europe continues to deal with the damage done by others. This is what they do.
But it was funny how Trump bullied the Germans, insisting they start buying American cars. Germany's reply, 'Build better cars". And no, Germany is not known for its diplomacy, that's what France is for.
Malta is happy, they're acting as rotating Prez for the EU, and even though their Labor party wasn't enthusiastic about joining the EU back then; they're sure happy they did today. 400,000 happy Maltese.
And Romania is doing well, roads and infrastructure in good shape, data is good, corruption diminishing, a disproportionate number of engineers working, no wonder they love Germany.
Italy, well, Italy remains a mystery, 50 entirely separate regions going about their business in their own mysterious way. I'm not certain they'll ever be properly motivated to address their bureaucracy; the last thing they want is the government getting in their way. Even if they want to encourage their smart young corporate set to come back home and cut their taxes; this would entail the government intervening.
We'll just have to wait and see. I simply wish the EU would act independently. Perhaps they'll be inspired to do just that; it's never been fun to be a client state of the US. And why not get rid of NATO, it'd hurt in the short term, but then they could have their own army, become their own truly independent European Union. Wouldn't that be something.
If only German would partner with Russia; then it's be game over. But that's precisely why everyone makes sure that doesn't happen. But we'll just have to wait and see...