Merkel's motivations remain hard to grasp
Those who want to make sense of the German leader should consider the truly conservative mindset, says John-Paul McCarthy
Derek Scally recently offered a well-timed critique in The Irish Times of what he called the "limp punditry" that has disfigured our analysis of contemporary Germany.
He rightly blamed a lot of the white noise here on simple ignorance and provincialism. But that said, the opaque character of Angela Merkel herself has probably also fed the Irish heart on fantasy.
Though poised on the threshold of a third term in power, Dr Merkel remains always and ever just out of reach. It is difficult to think of another major European personality who combines enormous self-confidence with such obvious emotional constriction the way she does.