International

Angie 3.0 or the Germany chancellor’s triumph

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Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor and CDU leader just after the results

Angela Merkel can enjoy. Indeed, she won the legislative elections in Germany with a huge advance on the SPD party and its leader, Peer Steinbruck. With 43% of the votes, the CDU remains the first German party against 28% for the Social-democrats, 8.5% for the Greens, 8% for Die Linke (the Far-left) and only 4.5% for the FDP, the liberal party and Merkel partner which is the great loser of the election.

In fact, with less 5% of the votes – the minimum to be represented within the Bundestag – the party led by Philip Rösler, outgoing minister of Economy, not only lost all its 93 MPs but is also punished by the voters due to its choices and its strategy on social and economic policy. The FDP defeat is, actually, a kind of warning for the German chancellor all the more so as the liberal party bad result prevents to drive the conservative-liberal coalition again which ruled the Federal Republic so far but also to get the absolute majority Angela Merkel fails to five seats only.

In spite of her historical score and her personal victory, Angela Merkel will have to find partners to govern. Two scenarios are probable: an alliance with the SPD (within a Great Coalition) or an alliance with the Greens. Currently, the first scenario seems to be most probable even if Peer Steinbruck, shocked rejected this possibility so far. Nonetheless, all the political analysts agree to consider the incumbent chancellor is making the proposition to the Social-democrats in order to lead her policy easily, all the more so as she already ruled a Great Coalition from 2005 to 2009. But, the SPD final choice is to know and this party did not keep a nice experience insofar as it is due to this Great Coalition the German social-democrats went to the opposition four years ago. What is more, the SPD is not really in a strong position face to Merkel although it is pretty sure this party will negotiate very hard its participation before getting any political agreement.

Placards featuring Merkel and Steinbruck (SPD leader) during the German elections

Placards featuring Merkel and Steinbruck (SPD leader) during the German elections

Voting hugely in favour of Angela Merkel, German people more voted in their chancellor than approved her policy. At this point, this is a personal victory for the German leader who enjoys a strong popularity and a large part of his co-citizens appreciate her for her seriousness and her coherence. For a majority of Germans, Merkel is an ensuring woman, behaves herself a good mother and harshly defends the interests of her country, being realistic too.

So, it is quite sure nothing changes with Merkel’s re-election, especially in Europe. François Hollande hoped – without believing it – a new parliamentary majority in Germany but he will have to work with a German chancellor faithful to her strategy and to hope a probable Great Coalition will have an influence on the Germany EU Policy, regarding growth and employment mainly. But with a relative weakened SPD (although it made progress compared with Die Linke, the other great loser of this election), such a bet may be assimilated to a wish, and Merkel can count on her party and her popularity furthermore.

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Angela Merkel gets a new four-year-term at the head of the German government. Now, the issue is to know if this new term will be useful for a Europe which needs a clear direction and strategy to get out of the crisis. At this point, the May 2014 European elections will be the opportunity for the main political parties to debate about the future of the European Union. Maybe the occasion for the SPD – via the Party of the European Socialists (PES) – to show its difference and weigh within the future government of coalition.

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