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Why Europe's Vote for Change Won't Dent German Power

Merkel arriving on Tuesday at a European People's Party meeting in Brussels
Merkel arriving on Tuesday at a European People's Party meeting in BrusselsPhotograph by Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP Photo

French President Francois Hollande had a bad Monday, when his Socialist Party, already deeply unpopular, finished third in the weekend’s European Parliament elections. British Prime Minister David Cameron is having a bad week, too. His ruling Conservatives finished third in the same elections in the U.K., though at least the Tories will get to keep their jobs. The head of Spain’s Socialist Party said he’ll resign after a poor showing, and Ireland’s deputy prime minister stepped down for the same reason.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is doing just fine. Her Christian Democrats won. Within the European Parliament, German Christian Democrats pool their seats with conservative parties from other countries to form the European People’s Party. The grouping lost some seats this weekend, but with help from the German contingent it remains the largest bloc. And Germany’s 96 members of the European Parliament give it the single largest MEP delegation to Strasbourg of any European country. As in every year.