- The recent regional election in Saxony-Anhalt saw the CDU party, the party of Merkel, consolidating their position as the leading party in Germany. So it is highly likely it will form the next government in Germany when Merkel has gone.
- The CDU always stood a strong prospect of regaining power in the Saxony-Anhalt election. Polls had shown the AfD to be ahead, but the lead didn’t translate into a win. It could have been a polling/media strategy to harden up support for the CDU by making the race seem tighter than it really was and create a more decisive result for the winner.
- Of greater significance is the collapse of the Greens, who at one point looked like they might have been an unstoppable force in Germany, even to become the largest party this coming September. On the contrary, the Green advance has gone into reverse; they’re losing support. Why?
- In a recent Daily Telegraph article, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard believes Annalena Baerbock (see featured image), the leader of the Greens, is too hardline and ideological in a pro-European way, i.e. they support a fiscal EU union, a joint foreign policy, and a European defense force. They want to whittle down the national veto option. They’ve become the Brussels party within Germany, largely opposed to the nation state. The Greens used to be an ecological anti-war, anti-nuclear party back in the 1980s when led by Petra Kelly. Today they are completely different, having become the Europeanist, Atlanticist, Integrationist party par excellence. It’s just ‘more Europe’, a view that is ardently opposed to good relations with Russia. They stridently opposed Nordstream 2, support the Magnitsky Act which seeks to sanction Russia for real or imagined transgressions, and are fervent supporters of Ukraine. One of their party recently visited the frontline in Ukraine and called for Ukraine to be supplied with weapons, contrary to the official position of Germany. The Greens were forced to backtrack on this.
- The Greens still exercise some influence in Germany going back to the old days of it being an ecological, anti-war party. But the leadership’s priorities now lie elsewhere. Germans are now becoming increasingly suspicious of this ‘more Europe’ attitude, which endorses financial help to southern Europe, and of the negative interest rates set by the ECB. They’re also hostile to the concept of Euro bonds. The Greens have shown themselves to be too hostile to Russia whereas the German business community supports closer ties.
- Thus the Greens are thus losing support, although this has not yet become a rout. It is looking less likely that the Greens will be helping to form a coalition government come September. Armin Laschet, Merkel’s replacement, is looking likely to be the next Chancellor; he cooling somewhat on integrationist ideas like Euro bonds and prefers better relations with Russia. Merkel has been up and down in her support for Russia, which has poisoned relations between the two countries.
- However, if Laschet becomes Chancellor, it will mean more of the same for Germany – Merkelism without Merkel herself, which means more economic and industrial decline. Germany should be a leader in this regard. It will mean more of the status quo.
- Challenges from other parties such as Afd and Die Link have, over time, faded away, perhaps because they cannot implement their programs within the larger EU framework which constrains what national governments can do. Phony oppositions, like those of the Greens, have risen at times to fill the space; but meanwhile, Germans are getting frustrated with the status quo. Germany’s dominant position within the EU and eurozone usually means reversion to the status quo that nobody is happy with. Laschet is not the man Germany needs to break free of this. So we have growing stagnation, growing immobilism. This cannot be sustained forever; at some point, there will be a breakdown of the system.
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