Amid all the turmoil and controversy surrounding Europe, from Brexit to the future direction of the EU, one view alone commands universal assent: that Germany is pivotal to the continent’s stability. As the largest European economy and the state with the biggest population in the European Union, non-military German hegemony remains a geopolitical axiom. But the time has come when the previously unthinkable question has to be asked: can the nation so long seen as the anchor of Europe still be regarded as intrinsically stable?

Since 2005, Germany has been synonymous with Angela Merkel, whose nickname Mutti (“Mummy”) supposedly advertises the reassurance Germans feel in living under her governance. As a PR exercise it is brilliant; unfortunately, the political reality does not support the mythology. Objectively appraised, Merkel can be identified as one of the least stable politicians in Europe and that inconsistency is reflected in her legacy, a Germany whose future is confused and uncertain.