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Monday, March 19, 2018

Germany is faced with a choice: will Merkel have the power

The most significant event this year, along with the celebrations that swept Germany in connection with the 500 anniversary of the reformation will be for the Germans of the parliamentary elections, the results of which will determine how to distribute seats in the Bundestag, and will be selected by the head of government. However, there is a perception that the election results are a foregone conclusion: too much indicates that incumbent Chancellor Angela Merkel will remain at the helm of German democracy for a fourth term. “MK” has decided to understand, what are the chances for victory of other political forces participating in the elections.

photo: AP

Mommy stays

Parliamentary elections in Germany scheduled for September 24, but their main result seems to have been known to any German: “bleibt Mutti” (“Mummy’s remains”). An impressive 15% margin of the block of the conservative party “Christian democratic Union” (CDU) and the Bavarian “Christian social Union” (CSU) from the competition by the results of the poll speaks for itself. Apparently, the head of the CDU 63-year-old Angela Merkel will remain Federal Chancellor’s Office at Willy-Brandt-straße and provide a warm welcome in located in the heart of the Bundestag. Re-election for a fourth term will allow the first in the country’s history a woman-Chancellor to repeat the record of Helmut Kohl – legendary “Chancellor of unity”, who headed the government of Germany for 16 years.

The pre-election struggle in Germany against the background of absence of significant ideological differences from its major rivals – the CDU/CSU and the Social democratic party of Germany (SPD). Both parties stand for the unity of Europe, the disappearance of cultural borders and building tolerant societies with liberal values. And after the arrival of the head of the German social democracy Martin Schulz, the former head of the European Parliament and, like Merkel, a supporter of sanctions against Moscow, the position of the parties coincide in respect of Russia.

The narrowing of the political spectrum occurred in 1956, when West Germany had imposed a ban on the activities of the Communist party. Two political giants – the CDU/CSU and the SPD for decades adopted each other over the reins. By entering into a coalition with the conservatives, with the social Democrats, in power for long entrenched liberal party of wealthy burghers, the Free democratic party of Germany (FDP).

The lack of dynamism in German politics gave rise to what is called fatigue (“Verdrossenheit”) from the existing party system. She first appeared in the 1980-ies, which led to the emergence on the political scene of a new force – the green party. Despite the fact that initially, the party has positioned itself as a left, over time, its activity was clearly visible right Bank – are now “Green” is ready for Union with the SPD and CDU/CSU and the FDP.

Left the party with her brilliant speakers, such as Gregor Gysi and wagenknecht, speakers with anti-capitalist criticism, appeared in 2007. In the 1990s, the years of United Germany received 16 million new voters in the face of the citizens of the former GDR, most of them adhering to leftist ideology. So there was a left movement outside the SPD. Today this force represents the Left party.

However, the convergence of the CDU/CSU and the SPD have led to the fact that the party for decades personified the struggle of opposing ideologies in Germany, formed in 2005 a “Grand coalition” led by Merkel. To her, this combination existed only once – in 1960-ies under Chancellor Kiesinger. There is an opinion that the creation of the Union led to a complete disappearance of the concept of “opposition” with the German political scene. In 2013, the “Grand coalition” has again gained the most votes and is still in power.

The similarity of the political parties told MK Vice-President of the Thuringian branch of one of the largest in the EU youth NGO “Young European Federalists” 25-year-old Marius, Mortifer: “Today nearly all parties with political viewpoints are liberal, though in the CDU, there is a powerful conservative wing. That is why the coalition can join such different, at first sight, the strength as a “Union 90 – green” and the FDP: both parties are committed to building an open and tolerant society”.

According to Mortifera, erasing any ideological differences clearly showed the June vote in the Bundestag on the issue of gay marriage. Then for the legalization of such unions 393 deputies voted (63%) of the different political parties. Moreover, many parliamentarians from having the most conservative bloc of the CDU/CSU went against the traditional position of the party on this issue and also called for. The fact that the head of the conservative Merkel has allowed the MPs to vote “according to conscience” – itself raised in East Germany, the daughter of a Protestant pastor opposed.

However, the Union of age-old rivals had other consequences: the right-wing CDU created in 2013, the radical party “Alternative for Germany”, which the upcoming elections may still take place under a glass dome. The answer to the question of why the radicals began to gain in Germany, the popularity is simple: too tired of the monotony. Today the party is represented in 13 of the 16 land parliaments (landtags) of Germany, and in the lands of the former GDR, Saxony-Anhalt and Mecklenburg – Western Pomerania – it gained more than 20% of the votes. “Alternative” is against a United Europe, urged to stop the influx of refugees and to cooperate with Moscow.

The long-awaited revival in the political life of the country has caused an unexpected redeployment that occurred in January of this year. Martin Schulz, succeeding to the post of leader of the social Democrats Sigmar Gabriel, in a few weeks eliminated 10% the gap of the SPD from the CDU/CSU. However, the hopes associated with the arrival of new faces in the internal politics of the country, is not true: next came the triple victory of the conservatives in the elections to the land parliaments, first in the Saarland, and then in the primordial patrimonial “red” States of Germany – Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia. Now, about the “effect of the Schultz” I can safely say: “much ADO about nothing”. A protracted pregnant silence of the leader of the SPD, too long meliucheva with a political agenda, turned to the social Democrats and the fall of the rating prior to the January level at 23% and therefore 15% th behind the conservatives.

In Spite Of Merkel

The lack of intrigue in the question of who will sit under the glass dome of the Bundestag since March kompensiruet “sister” feud within the ruling CDU/CSU. Of adds fuel to the fire of the Bavarian sister the Christian Democrats, in March of this year the leader of the Christian social Union Horst Seehofer went to Moscow, where he met with Vladimir Putin.

Relations with Russia, as an open-door policy Merkel has long been a stumbling block in relations of the CDU with its Bavarian ally. This time the German media was on the side of the Merkel – visits Seehofer seemed out of place in connection with allegations of information sabotage, allegedly organized by the Kremlin. The story of how the girl Lisa from the family of Russian Germans was allegedly abducted and raped by migrants in Berlin, showed in one of the news releases of the First channel of Russian television in January 2016. The story caused a strong wave of indignation among immigrants from the Soviet Union in Germany.

Horst Seehofer also demanded the senior partner for setting quotas for the number of migrants. To reach consensus on this issue, “the sisters” managed recently.

Everything else, the secret service of Germany fear attempts to interfere in the election campaign in Germany Russian hackers. Moscow is accused of a deliberate weakening of Merkel, who after winning Donald trump was supposedly the main rival of Vladimir Putin in the Western world. Russia bleeds between liberal political forces, as interested in the victory of “Alternatives to” and the Left party, say media.

Summarizing, we can say that the only intrigue that promise us the upcoming elections in Germany, lies in the fact, with any party, the CDU/CSU will form a ruling coalition. Most likely at this point presented three options for developments. In that case, if the CDU/CSU and FDP in the elections will show high results (40% and 8% -10%, respectively), can be formed in a traditional black-yellow coalition (black – the traditional color of the CDU, yellow – liberals), as it was in 2009-2013. In this case, the social Democrats will have to go into opposition. Only in the case if the CDU/CSU will gain 35%, and SPD by about 30%, these parties are currently establishing a “Grand coalition” to remain in power. It is also possible that the election results will be generated black-yellow-green “Jamaica-coalition” of the CDU/CSU, the FDP and the “Alliance 90 – green”, though in practice the creation of such coalition occurred only at state level.

For us it is important that, whatever the election result on September 24, he will bring, hopefully, the radical changes in foreign policy life of Germany, and the course taken by Germany in relations with Moscow, will remain the same.

Sanctions . Chronicle of events

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