It is with some fascination and not a bit of contempt that the continental European media have received reports of Boris Johnson’s latest setbacks.
The fact that the British Prime Minister seems to have been trapped by his own untruths does not seem to have surprised many commentators or headline writers.
The speed with which the British government has crumbled, or ‘Boris Johnson’s ship of fools’, as the firm describes it in the conservative German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, has however raised eyebrows after such a long period of ‘doing nothing about it’. pull”. , as a Dutch newspaper put it.
In Germany, Der Spiegel writes that Johnson “obviously did not see the calamity that had accumulated in recent days. But why would he? Compared to the populist and treacherous rack and ruin of Johnson’s last three years, the latest scandal…was almost forgivable. Nothing more than a pale comet’s tail in Boris Johnson’s cosmos of lies.
Of the case of Christopher Pincher, the Deputy Chief Whip who was appointed by Johnson despite the Prime Minister knowing of previous complaints about his alleged sexual behavior, Der Spiegel writes: “The Pincher case, as revealed by two letters of resignation, just happened to be the last drop in a bucket full to the brim of stinky pig at the door of the British Prime Minister’s office.
The liberal-leaning Süddeutsche Zeitung said there were enough funds in Johnson’s catalog to list a tantalizing “selection” of 13 offences, covering everything from the mystery of who paid for the Prime Minister’s vacation in the Caribbean and a famous speech about Peppa Pig to the mismanagement of the pandemic, the Partygate exposure and the scandal over where the payments for the gold-leaf wallpaper for the Downing Street apartment came from.
The newspaper writes: “That he is not a man of integrity to be reckoned with. When Johnson became Britain’s prime minister in 2019, the former foreign secretary and mayor of London had a reputation for moving from one gaffe to the next with flying colors. And once he got to the highest levels of government, he kept going in the same vein.
“During the pandemic, he even said chaos wasn’t that bad because chaos meant everyone had to watch it to see who was boss. That’s how he managed to get that kind of attention consistently.
In France, a morning newscast on the largest public radio station, France Inter, titled “Storm in Shakespeare’s Land”, described Johnson’s prime ministership as in chaos after “countless scandals based on alcohol, wandering hands and lies”.
The daily Liberation called the resignations a “terrible blow” for Johnson”. Le Monde noted that “so far, Johnson had seemed able to withstand all the scandals”, but asked “will it be Move of mercy ?
An answer to the question of whether this could really end Johnson is offered in the Netherlands by the liberal newspaper Trouw, which suggested that the latest cabinet resignations “may well deal the fatal blow to Boris’s job as Prime Minister. Johnson”.
In Belgium, Ivan Ollevier, correspondent for the Flemish public broadcaster VRT NWS, offered a similar analysis while admitting that Johnson “always seems to get away with it”. “I don’t like to make predictions, but we are witnessing a government crumbling in slow motion,” he said.
The Flemish newspaper De Standaard agreed. “Much has already been written, but the end of Prime Minister Johnson now seems very near,” one opinion piece commented.
In Spain, Rafa Ramos from La Vanguardia acknowledged the Prime Minister would fight to the bitter end to keep his job – but concluded he was now surely ‘on the brink’. “There are three weeks left until summer vacation and Johnson will be glued to his office chair if need be,” writes the journalist. “But his position is more precarious than ever. As Hemingway said, you go bankrupt gradually, then suddenly.