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Merkel to be the new 'leader of the free world'?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, after 11 years at the helm, now looks increasingly like the only bulwark of stability and liberal freedom among Western alliesThe shock election of Donald Trump as US president has forced greater responsibility for defending Western values and interests onto German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s shoulders, analysts say, with some even crowning her the new “leader of the free world”. While the last decade has been defined by Britain, France, Germany and the US showing a largely united front on issues ranging from NATO affairs to defence of basic freedoms, the coming four years may present a more fragmented picture. During his campaign Trump signalled a protectionist and anti-immigration stance, while Britain is preoccupied with securing its future outside the European Union after June’s stunning referendum vote to exit the bloc.

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