Germany’s Merkel clings to power amid far right surge – POLITICO


tony

how many seats will the Alternative for Germany 13.5% translate into? That’s the Dutch, French and Germans all voting for far right parties in large numbers.

Posted on 9/24/17 | 6:13 PM CEST

glembay18

SPD is not going into Great CoaItion,so FDP and Greens are in with Merkel’s CDU/CSU.They are just around 52 % and it will be very interesting,especially re FDP-GREEN relationship for big business ,nuclear power,etc.SPD is playing on the friction in the new Government by time…

Posted on 9/24/17 | 6:20 PM CEST

tony

I understand the dynamics have changed, but is merkel stronger or weaker than before the election?

Posted on 9/24/17 | 6:30 PM CEST

alan

Merkel c32.5% of vote share, May c42.5% of vote share

Posted on 9/24/17 | 6:39 PM CEST

Jack Boot

Most EXCELLENT RESULT may I offer my sincere congratulations to you Mutti.
It might be a struggle with your very minority government this term girl but hang in there.

Posted on 9/24/17 | 6:45 PM CEST

Jack Boot

@alan
Nice comparison alan, lets see how they cope with the bot on the other foot.

Posted on 9/24/17 | 6:53 PM CEST

tony

we need to leave quickly before we get infected by all these far right EU countries

Posted on 9/24/17 | 6:57 PM CEST

ralphmalph

Ex EU superstar politician is proven to be complete pants on a democratic stage. SPD result worst since 1949. Boy oh boy, thus proving beyond all doubt the EU is the home of the useless failed politician. Juncker, Verhofstedt et al.

Posted on 9/24/17 | 6:57 PM CEST

alan

@Tony

On vote share Merkel seems down around 9% & SPD around 5% or if you want to look at another way both are down c20% on their support in the last election

Posted on 9/24/17 | 6:58 PM CEST

ralphmalph

I would imagine that the FDP will want the Economics Ministry for agreement to coalition. Means Wolfgang Schauble gets made redundant. Mass street parties in Greece and the rest of Southern Europe.

Posted on 9/24/17 | 7:03 PM CEST

ralphmalph

EU bigwig to UK. The Brexit talks can not move onto trade because the Germans did not vote the correct way and there will have to be another election, so the Germans can get it right this time.
Merkels next Election Slogan – Immigrants out now.

Posted on 9/24/17 | 7:07 PM CEST

Black Bob

The ticking clock has a swinging PENDULUM.. 🙂 Only 32% that’s pants.
We she work with the Afd?
Wonder what would happen if any other parties wont work with her.

Posted on 9/24/17 | 7:07 PM CEST

Black Bob

32%… Does that mean she has the majority, or a mere 32% of the vote?
I really need some clarification here….. 🙂

Posted on 9/24/17 | 7:11 PM CEST

ironworker

The fragmentation of the vote is good news for the rest of Europe.

Posted on 9/24/17 | 7:16 PM CEST

ralphmalph

@Blackbob – after the war the allies setup the German political system so it would be almost impossible for a single party to get a majority. So it is always a coalition with the party with the most votes getting the top job and a number of other top jobs dished out to the coalition partners.
So no Merkel did not get a majority just the most votes 32%.

Posted on 9/24/17 | 7:17 PM CEST

Chrish

If the SPD won’t go into coalition with the CDP because it has proved electoral suicide for a left wing party, why should the Greens? Do they want the same thing to happen to them as happened to the LiBDems in the UK. And if not a Jamaican coalition then what.

Posted on 9/24/17 | 7:22 PM CEST

60022Mallard

I expect the BBC will not be reporting this as the pyrrhic victory it is, nor the much greater vote for the AFD than expected.

Interesting times.

Is that true about Brexit – or did you hear it on the BBC?

Posted on 9/24/17 | 7:31 PM CEST

Observer

Mutti and SDP are punished for their anti EU and anti German policy regarding illegal musslim immigrants.

Posted on 9/24/17 | 7:39 PM CEST

TinTin

Where are Vishnou, Europeann, FrankP and all the other crankies?
I’d like them to clarify what just happened… 🙂

Posted on 9/24/17 | 7:43 PM CEST

Erik

@Black Bob
Just 32% of the vote, not a majority, but that’s no news in Germany, electoral fragmentation is the norm there and in other countries of continental Europe (think of Netherlands earlier). The big news is the worst electoral performance of both the CDU and the SPD since the postwar era. The SPD saw it coming, they’ve been in decline for some time, but it’s a worse than expected result for the CDU.

@tony
88 seats for AFD, with a projection giving them 13.9%.

Posted on 9/24/17 | 7:45 PM CEST

Chrish

Doubt whether Merkel or Shultz will be leaders of their respective parties in 12months

Posted on 9/24/17 | 7:45 PM CEST

Tony

Tin tin

I expect they are busily applying for asylum in the UK to escape the rise of far right parties in the EU.

We need to treat them kindly.

Posted on 9/24/17 | 7:46 PM CEST

Tony

Erik

88 seats? Wow! I think there are about 700 in total?

Posted on 9/24/17 | 7:50 PM CEST

HH

Bring the gremlin into daylight and it will implode.

Thus, this coalition might do the work: CDU/CSU + FDP + AfD

Posted on 9/24/17 | 7:50 PM CEST

Jack Boot

I wonder what Mr Junker will make of it all ?

Posted on 9/24/17 | 7:53 PM CEST

Tommy

Congratulations to the new leader of the free world.

Posted on 9/24/17 | 7:54 PM CEST

alan

@Jack boot

My apologies, I may have been wrong. I think the CDU vote was under 30%, the balance being the CSU coalition partner.
Heard someone describe CSU performance in Bavaria as a debacle which sounds interesting

Posted on 9/24/17 | 8:16 PM CEST

bc

Schulz fate just shows how discredited EU “stars” finish in a history bin once EU citizens receive a chance to have a democratic voice about them.
Just like so vocal Timmermans, loving bashing smaller EU members whose party in Netherlands received as I remember 3% votes recently.
I don’t think Juncker, Tusk or Verhofstadt’s fate would me much different in their countries of origin if people were given a chance of democratic vote on them.

There is apparently something very wrong with process of promoting discredited people to top positions in the EU institutions. And Merkel bears a big part of responsibility for that.

Posted on 9/24/17 | 8:19 PM CEST

RasmusDenmark

Obviously it leaves Merkel a bit weaker than before. The coalition with SPD is dead.

She has to work with the liberal FDP (economical right) and die Grünen (the greens – economical left-leaning and climate friendly). It will be difficult, but it could work. Dont exspect a working German government right away.

It will be difficult for Merkel to reform the Euro-zone, like Macron wishes it, but not impossible. The EU-friendly parties are still in clear majority.

With the progress of the far-right AfD German politic is now more similar to other European countries. AfD will have no influence, but they will certainly stir things up. They are a mix of sensible people and crazy people. The biggest fight will be in AfD where the moderates and extremists will fight relentlessly against eachother.

Brexit: I cannot see any big changes in the German position right now.

Posted on 9/24/17 | 8:19 PM CEST

Robert Maxwell

She’s a mature politician and a decent leader. (Comparatively speaking, if you know what I mean.) I hope she succeeds/

Posted on 9/24/17 | 8:35 PM CEST

Tony

Robert

Let’s remember that her divisive policies have allowed the far right into the parliament for the first time since the wat. That hardly is a mark of success.

Posted on 9/24/17 | 8:46 PM CEST

Jack Boot

@RasmusDenmark: This is not a brexit page Rasmus but the election results page, the results may or may not affect things and it is interesting to compare a 33% vote for Merkel against a 42% vote for May.
Weak government in any country always leads to good arguments.
I am very interested in how the latest coalition will be formed and what policy’s must be changed, added or removed.

Posted on 9/24/17 | 8:47 PM CEST

alan

@RasmusDenmark

May I suggest that AfD are already having an influence?

They have already made formation of a coalition difficult with Merkel having to look at a 4 pary coalition – CDU/CSU/FDP/Green.
Make up of that coalition will have a direct impact on policy & possibly the departure of Schauble from Govt.
CSU have recognised that their right flank was exposed to AfD so it would reasonable for them to tack right to close that gap before the next election & in so doing drag the coalition with them.
You don’t have to be govt to influence political direction.

I wouldn’t be too sanguine about the impact of AfD, nor indeed any of the small parties.
In fact it would be politically suicidal!

Posted on 9/24/17 | 8:56 PM CEST

Mentar

This result isn’t necessarily bad. Some new ideas and projects will be born out of the impending CDU/CSU+Greens+FDP coalition.

@tony: Keep in mind, we have a proportional representation system. Forging coalitions is perfectly normal. Merkel will remain in power comfortably, but will have to balance more interests now. Especially FDP and Greens have some differing ideas to the CSU. Nothing insurmountable though. Don’t expect any policy changes towards Europe, Brexit or any other international issues.

Posted on 9/24/17 | 9:05 PM CEST

Tony

Mentar

I am not expecting anŷ change in policy towards Brexit.

We are more expecting Europeans here to be a little more humble and stop preachmg at us as yet another batch of far right wingers enter the parliament of a major country because the elite refused to listen to the people .

Posted on 9/24/17 | 9:12 PM CEST

Mentar

Tony: Sign of the times, I’m afraid. It’s a side-effect of the growing relevance of social media and the internet in general: Never was it easier to collect malcontents and feed it nationalist ideas. Just point to “the others” who are at fault, and there you go. Be it Muslims, Forriners, Gays, Refugees, whatever. I don’t see how any country avoiding this – unless you go the Poland/Hungary way, and – sorry – this would be a nightmare.

Posted on 9/24/17 | 9:20 PM CEST

Jack

German people are trying to pin all their problems on immigrants. Reminds one of a time when German people blamed all their countries problems on gypses and Jews. Didn’t turn out well last time the country let radicals lead the government, why would things have changed now? Is the mustache man back in favor?

Posted on 9/24/17 | 9:25 PM CEST

RasmusDenmark

@alan

I agree with you, CDU already has moved more to the right because of AfD, and their sister party CSU will move any more to the right now. But in everyday politics AfD will have no real influence. In that way you can compare them to Linke, who has been in Bundestag for many terms but never had real influence.

I sense some sort of joy or gloating in the thread over Merkels bad result. It is true that Merkel is being punished by the electorate for her immigration decisions, but she still has one in three votes behind her, which is a lot in a electoral system like the German. Despite heavy losses CDU and SPD could still form a new government if they wanted to.

Merkel will continue to be leader of Germany, her position is totally uncontested, and we dont know, if her government will be weaker than the last one. I dont think there will be a big change in the German position on Brexit, but maybe FDP will press for decisions more in favor of UK, but I would not bet on it. We dont know anything untill the government has been formed.

P.S.: AfD has elements of classical German nationalism – not anything to wish for.

Posted on 9/24/17 | 9:33 PM CEST

Stevie

RasmusDenmark

Panorama did a program on the shall we say ‘undesirable’ element of the AfD. Even more shocking that they have gained some ground.

There is some gloating about Merkel’s losses as there has been for the Conservative losses and general UK political upheaval. No biggy.

Posted on 9/24/17 | 9:45 PM CEST

guilherme

Why should an anti-immigrant party scheduled necessarily as racist? Most of the immigrants to Germany are of the same race as the Germans are. It should be analysed what are the real reasons of the rejection of mass immigration in a country. Merkel said that she will “hear the fears” of those who voted for the AfD. Let us hope that she finally opens her mind.

Posted on 9/24/17 | 9:45 PM CEST

Arthur Pewtey

“The surprise finish by the populist party will reverberate across Europe, where a string of underwhelming finishes by populist parties, including in the Netherlands and France, fueled hope in the political mainstream that the AfD would also underperform.”

A bit of an overstatement. LePen and Wilders didn’t win their elections but their mandates were massive compared to previous elections. The AfD result is confirmation of the political tide in Europe not a ‘surprise’ result.

Posted on 9/24/17 | 9:50 PM CEST

Marten de Wind

Wow Nelson! I thought we had done away with populism! I thought we’d be sailing to the Land of Milk and Honey full speed! I thought we’d have a government in Holland by now! Good Heavens, somebody call somebody!

Posted on 9/24/17 | 9:56 PM CEST

Katherine

@Rasmus: “P.S.: AfD has elements of classical German nationalism – not anything to wish for.”

I hope you mean that, because if we who oppose the far right are serious, we will carefully examine how to drain the AfD of support. I don’t know that some of us are up to that task.

Posted on 9/24/17 | 9:59 PM CEST

glasspix 1

It is particularly satisfying that the CSU seems to have suffered the greatest loss of all parties by net percentage point. Merkel is insane but Seehoffer is not, he is just the worst kind of spineless political opportunist who was clearly aware of the mortal dangers Merkel’s immigration policies have meant for Europe, yet he was too weak to oppose them in an effective manner in fear of losing power. If there is a Quislingian character in German politics today, it is him and his corrupt CSU cronies. Good riddance.

Posted on 9/24/17 | 10:12 PM CEST

CSK

I can see Bild’s headlines; ‘It Woz Farage Wot Done It For AfD’!!

Posted on 9/24/17 | 10:21 PM CEST

Tony

Katherine

That was an interesting comment. Care to expand on it?

Posted on 9/24/17 | 10:37 PM CEST

EK

AfD is “racist” because they are unhappy with open borders? Is that the position of the ruling class and their running dogs at Politico?

Posted on 9/24/17 | 10:40 PM CEST

apocalyptic chemist

May I suggest that Merkels party changes it’s name as it could need the Muslim vote in the near future.

Posted on 9/24/17 | 10:45 PM CEST

Tony

EK

Shame on you. Are you saying the liberal elite do not know what is best for you?

Posted on 9/24/17 | 10:58 PM CEST

alan

@RasmusDenmark

I claim not particular knowledge of German politics but a few comments if I may:
“But in everyday politics AfD will have no real influence. In that way you can compare them to Linke, who has been in Bundestag for many terms but never had real influence”

You may be right but I suspect not. Smaller parties generally rub along on the political fringes with a small dedicated hard-core following pushing policies which are removed from the main-stream, not ‘extremists’ as such but just ‘other worldy’ if that makes sense. They won’t have much impact, possibly like Die Linke, because they are overshadowed by more worldy alternatives such as SPD closer to the broad political consensus
I suspect however that AfD will have real influence because they have tapped into a broader vein of support which cuts across a wide range of issues/concerns. From today other politicians & officials will be looking over their shoulders to see where AfD are in relation to policy & specific actions before making decisions. Impact will be small, incremental but if we were to have this conversation next year I’d guess influence would be clear.

“I sense some sort of joy or gloating in the thread over Merkels bad result”
Not necessarily just recognition that Germany is in fact no different than anywhere else.

“Despite heavy losses CDU and SPD could still form a new government if they wanted to.”

Yes but SPD does not want to, they have seen the future & for them it is not good unless they can distinguish themselves from CDU/CSU. I’d guess they will be more argumentative in future after they sort out a new set of policies.

“Merkel will continue to be leader of Germany, her position is totally uncontested”
Current lack of an alternative is not the same as uncontested.

“and we don’t know, if her government will be weaker than the last one”
Apart from having to reach an accommodation with at least two other parties with it seems diametrically opposed views on some issues also has to think about CSU which I believe considered campaigning on its own prior to this election. Depends on their reading of their own results in Bavaria.

“We dont know anything untill the government has been formed”
The longer it takes the more profound the differences to be resolved & the more fragile the agreement. How long have the Dutch been without a Govt now?

“P.S.: AfD has elements of classical German nationalism – not anything to wish for.”
True but then we never learn from history

(Time for a quick Grouse on the rocks)

Posted on 9/24/17 | 11:30 PM CEST

bluebell

Will Christian Lindner become Finance Minster?

Posted on 9/25/17 | 12:01 AM CEST

lars pardo

political stability = economic stability

this is good news for Germany…and for Europe

Posted on 9/25/17 | 1:05 AM CEST

Robert G Sorbet

Nice to see the Euro taking a hit in the Asian markets.

Posted on 9/25/17 | 1:53 AM CEST

Sm

How funny. Many around who are not so cocky now. Just as they thought that right wing nationalism in Europe was dead, the right reminds us that people’s concerns are still not being listened to.
That, or Germany has never quite quelled its natural tendencies..

Posted on 9/25/17 | 2:20 AM CEST

bluebell

@RasmusDenmark

How this election result will affect any post Brexit deal is the least of my concerns. The indicators of what is happening in mainland Europe are altogether more worrying. The EU elites need to start thinking about why this is happening and start to address the underlying problems of why there is this push back against them. The attitude of ‘we know best’ is not working. The blinkers need to be removed together with the cotton wool from their ears.

I recently read The Dark Valley: A Panorama of the 1930s by Dr Piers Brendon and there are disturbing similarities with what is beginning to happen in Europe. The political spin, the interference in judicial systems, the rise of xenophobia, even the rhetoric of the Commission and politicians (some British and some European) regarding the UK and the Brexit negotiations encouraging feelings of ‘us and them’ are all very worrying signs.

It is not too late but we need to re-set the mood soon and the politicians and the Commission have a responsibility to moderate their language and address citizens real concerns.

This feeling on the continent that the UK has deserted them – where did this come from? Who is organising the ‘activists’ that keep popping up everywhere? Why have lobbyists held such sway in influencing things in favour of big business? Who is behind this and who is inflaming the situation? What do we put this down to? Is it the influence of the Davos divas, the super rich, foreign interference, a political elite who have lost touch with their citizens, is it part of the cycle of civilisations? Or, is it a combination of all these things?

As you are a teacher of history I would be very interested to hear your views on this.

Posted on 9/25/17 | 2:47 AM CEST

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