I read most (link) and watched some (link) of Angela Merkel's interview to the BBC tonight (Monday, March 26) to Gavin Esler in BBC 2's well know program Newsnight. I had also read Gavin Esler's article "Germans can't escape their Lutheran past", posted on BBC News Online a few hours before the airing of the Merkel interview.
It seems to me that Angela Merkel is trying to diversify, especially in anticipation of the May 6 election in France (and the potential political loss of the "Merkozy" partner Nicolas Sarkozy) as well as the fact that she will have to get support from SDP, the German social-democrats, if she is to have her Fiscal Compact ratified by the German parliament and upper house.
To that effect:
1) She appears more humanistic (but not too, she also Mr. Elser's article "Germans can't escape their Lutheran past" ) re Greece and the PIIGS
2) She opens up more bridges with the UK, stressing the things they have in common (Germany-UK and/or Merkel-Cameron). Maybe a potential Merkel-Cameron "wild card" at hand should things turn out really sour in the Eurozone and the Fiscal Compact?
Germany and the UK, or at least the conservative parties, do indeed have a similar POV in international trade matters, although Germany is an export superpower, UK is not), one has to factor in Germany's most recent reactions to Barroso's plans for a more aggressive trade management policy for the EU.
Which makes me think again and write again how relevant Max Weber's Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism is in EU Affairs nowadays.
PS. Now casual were the comparisions between Thatcher and Merkel? A pity Hillary Clinton is not conservative or pro-austerity too!