NIGEL FARAGE today claimed other EU countries are ready to bring Angela Merkel “down a peg or two” amid growing resentment at the German Chancellor’s dominance of European decision-making.
By GREG HEFFER, POLITICAL REPORTER EXPRESS
But the Ukip leader suggested the fact the German leader now appears to “speak on behalf of all” Europeans is causing “massive, massive resentment right across the EU”.
Speaking to LBC Radio from the Belgian capital, Nigel Farage described how “one or two countries are beginning to kick back” against Mrs Merkel’s grip on EU affairs.
The MEP insisted Germany had never intended to dominate the EU, but had been thrust into a central role following the outbreak of the eurozone debt crisis.
Mr Farage said the EU’s unelected bureaucrats “did not command the authority to be the leading voices on what the eurozone should do faced with this crisis”, adding: ”And so what happened was the biggest, most powerful country in the eurozone and the EU… stepped to the fore.
“We’ve seen since 2008 and 2009 Germany increasingly becoming the dominant voice.”
The anti-EU politician outlined how Mrs Merkel now “speaks on what should happen with Turkey, she speaks on what should happen with the migrant crisis and she speaks on what the Greeks should do with their public spending levels”.
Mr Farage added: ”She appears, when she speaks, to speak on behalf of all of us.
“That is causing massive, massive resentment right across the EU and particularly in the south and the Mediterranean.
“I sense that one or two countries are now on the verge of bringing her down a peg or two.”
The Ukip leader noted how the Netherlands are holding a referendum next month on the proposed deal to put Ukraine on the path to EU membership, which he predicted would be rejected.
And Mr Farage also highlighted moves in Hungary to hold a vote on the “Merkel proposal” for compulsory migrant quotas for each EU member state.
He said: “She [Merkel] is still the top dog, if you like, in the EU - but one or two countries are beginning to kick back.”
Earlier this month, Iceland’s prime minister gave a similar warning over Germany’s dominance of the EU.
Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson, who has seen his country’s economy soar outside of the EU, said: “When it comes to the big stuff the decisions are made by two, and increasingly one country.”
Last weekend, Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democrat party suffered a series of painful defeats in regional elections as part of a continuing backlash against the German Chancellor’s handling of the refugee crisis.
Mrs Merkel initially offered safe passage for all Syrian refugees to Germany, but soon saw her popularity plummet as the country saw nearly half-a-million asylum claims in 2015.