The Merkel era has come to an end
She is still Germany's chancellor. But, after 13 sober and admirable years at the top, Angela Merkel's authority has melted away.
On October 29th, following an astonishing drubbing handed out to her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in the prosperous state of Hesse, she announced that she will step down as leader of the party in December.
In theory, she could remain as chancellor until 2021.
But, as she herself remarked about her predecessor, Gerhard Schroder, who tried to buy himself time with a similar manoeuvre back in 2004, the two jobs belong together.
但正如默克尔评论施罗德时所言：这两个职位应归一人 。2004年，上任总理格哈德·施罗德曾试图用同样的策略为自己争取些时间 。
Her position now is even worse than his was then.
Mrs Merkel's writ does not run in her own party, which recently ousted a close ally from his position as parliamentary leader in the Bundestag.
Worse, her coalition with the Social Democrats(SPD), who were also walloped in Hesse, is at risk of collapse.
Even if the SPD do not walk out in the coming days, the two parties now so thoroughly dislike each other that she will struggle to govern.
Mr Schroder lasted only 15 months after leaving his party job before being forced to call an early election, which he lost. Mrs Merkel should not expect to last any longer.
上任总理施罗德在辞去党内职务后仅坚持了15个月，就被迫提前举行大选，但最终以失败告终 。默克尔女士不应该这种境况持续太久 。
The timing could hardly be worse.
The EU is being buffeted by Brexit and the threat of an Italian-inspired euro crisis.
President Donald Trump is forcing Europe to rethink its security.
When leadership is required, neither the EU nor the world should welcome a prolonged period of Teutonic paralysis.
Quite possibly, the pace will be forced by the SPD's departure from the coalition.
Mrs Merkel also said this week that she will not fight another election and she is unlikely to stay on as head of a new coalition or a minority government.
As the lamest of ducks, she will struggle to achieve anything.
1.melt away 消失
When he heard these words, Scot felt his inner doubts melt away.
2.hand out 分发
One of my jobs was to hand out the prizes.
3.step down 退位
Judge Ito said that if his wife was called as a witness, he would step down as trial judge.
4.remark about something 议论，评论
She has made outspoken remarks about the legalization of marijuana.
5.walk out (通常表示气愤或厌烦)退出(会议)，(演出中途)退场
Several dozen councillors walked out of the meeting in protest.
6.be ousted from 罢黜，把…撤职，驱逐
The leaders have been ousted from power by nationalists.
7.be buffeted by (狂风、巨浪)反复袭击
Their plane had been severely buffeted by storms.