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.
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.
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.