wnol.info April 23 2018

German Election and the Far Right

April 23 2018, 05:32 | Irvin Gilbert

Protesters Allegedly Assault AfD Chairperson's Family in Berlin REUTERS Michael Dalder

Police stand guard outside the building of the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany party

A new party emerges: According to NPR, Merkel and the Christian Democratic Union will win the election. We talk to political science and global relations experts to find out.


In the 12 years since she was first elected, through steady pragmatism, with no frills and no stardust, Angela Merkel has become the planet's most powerful woman and Europe's most influential leader. That's just not done here.

Founded as an anti-euro party, the AfD recorded a surge in support after it began capitalising on unease in Germany over the arrival of more than a million asylum seekers since 2015.

Back in Neukölln, Mr Hinkel believes the SPD's salvation lies in building on trust from grassroots communities and creating a new social democratic narrative with a European vision, carried by Mr Schulz, at its core.

STEFAN KORNELIUS: Suddenly and surprisingly Merkel has become a very polarizing figure.

Embittered SPD voters are even jumping ship as Ms Merkel has moved further and further into the centre ground throughout her time in office. As campaigning draws to close, her party's managers are banking on the proven cult of "Angela" to secure her a resounding victory. That would allow Merkel to avoid the need to add the Greens to ensure a Bundestag majority, or to continue her existing grand coalition with the Social Democrats.

Schulz asserted that Merkel was "a world champion in not deciding", someone who simply parroted others' ideas.

For Decker's business, which serves 1,300 companies across the U.S., France, Britain and Switzerland, Merkel's open-door approach to immigration has been especially positive; Signavio has hired several Syrian refugees, as well as workers from European Union member nations such as Portugal and Greece, who fled their native countries during the debt crisis. So it could in some ways strengthen the communist party.

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Voters will take to the polls in the German general election tomorrow with opinion polls suggesting the far-right AfD party could finish third.

But the 63-year-old refused to be derailed from her stability-and-prosperity stump speech, telling the crowd that "the future of Germany will definitely not be built up through whistles and hollers".

CHANG: How has Merkel managed to have such a long career in politics so far in Germany? "My wish is for her to renovate the German educational system, and better align the curricula to the reality and requirements of the 21st century", he tells Inc. in an email interview. A German running the European Commission, Eurogroup or even the anticipated Eurozone finance minister post rather than the ECB may also be more investor-friendly as Schäuble at any of these institutions may mean more fiscal discipline in the Eurozone, but also an investor friendly ECB. She lives modestly in Berlin, and she actually does her grocery shopping herself.

The man selling honey at a nearby stall says: "I like her a lot".

CHANG: Oh, imagine that.

That political caution stands sharply in contrast to President Donald Trump's flamboyance. How do you think Germany's relationship with the US might continue if Merkel ends up serving yet another term?

With the Bundestag, or lower house of parliament, set to expand to six parties in the national vote, building a governing coalition may be the most hard yet. A third-place finish - behind the Merkel's conservative bloc and the SPD - could make the AfD Germany's largest opposition party, bestowing on it a host of privileges, including generous public financing, that would make it a formidable political force.

"Go vote and vote for the parties that are 100 percent loyal to our constitution", Merkel told Germans in a swipe at the AfD.

Germany's strength and good fortune comes from leaders whose messages will also be linked to their names: Konrad Adenauer and reconciliation with the West, Willy Brandt and reconciliation with the East, Helmut Kohl and Germany's unification, Gerhard Schröder and structural economic reforms. She pledges limited tax cuts and to keep Germany's borrowing at zero.

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