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Opinion
Ferdinando Giugliano

They Hated Angela Merkel. Now They’ll Miss Her.

Many in Italy and Greece could come to regret the woman they despised.

Going.

Going.

Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

When Angela Merkel announced her planned retirement on Monday, few tears were shed in southern Europe. From Greece to Italy, the German chancellor has embodied the cold-heartedness of the rest of Europe to the plight of those in crisis.

At the height of the euro-zone sovereign debt crisis in 2012, Italy’s right-wing press saluted the national soccer team’s win against Germany by insulting Merkel on their front pages. In Greece, anti-austerity protesters have often depicted her with a Hitler mustache or wearing a Nazi uniform.