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Merkel’s political future is threatened by the unprecedented crisis in Germany

Ⓒ AFP – John MacDougall – | German Chancellor, Angela Merkel (center), in the presidential residence, Bellevue Castle, in Berlin, this November 20, 2017, where she will speak with the president, Franz-Walter Steinmeier, of the failure to form a government

Angela Merkel on Monday sought a way out of the crisis in Germany after its failure to form a government, which is a real political earthquake that could lead to new legislative elections and the end of the chancellor’s political career.

Since the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949, something like this had never happened: the country does not have a majority to be governed. On Sunday night, after a month of negotiations and delays, the conservatives of Merkel (CDU-CSU), the liberals (FDP) and the ecologists failed in their attempt to form a government coalition.

And as there is no alternative, the first European economic power is preparing to live weeks of paralysis, both internally and in Europe.

Early elections seem likely, since Merkel excluded directing a minority government and her former Social Democratic allies (SPD) categorically rejected any coalition under the Chancellor’s aegis.

The Germans could go back to the polls in early 2018, after they elected their deputies last September.

Merkel said she will meet Monday with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who has a key institutional role in the process of dissolving parliament.

Stenmaier will make a statement this Monday at 13h30 GMT.

On Sunday night, the chancellor had promised “to do everything possible so that the country is well run in the coming weeks.” Merkel remains in charge to resolve current issues.

– German Brexit –

The chancellor, in power since 2005, won the September elections but with the worst result since 1949 for her conservative party, which has lost votes in favor of the far right (AfD), driven by a growing discontent with the arrival of more of one million refugees in 2015-2016.

Ⓒ AFP – Tobias SCHWARZ – | La chancelière allemande Angela Merkel, le 19 novembre 2017

Now that he has not been able to negotiate a coalition government, the clouds are hovering over Merkel’s political future. Above all, because his centrist course is increasingly criticized in his conservative political family.

The political earthquake is such in a country accustomed to negotiation and political commitment, that the influential magazine Der Spiegel writes on its website that the country is confronted with its “German Brexit moment, at the time Trump”.

Commentators, press and political scientists are numerous in auguring “the end” of the chancellor.

“It is his failure, which shows that the Merkel method – an unlimited pragmatism and maximum ideological flexibility – has come to an end,” says Spiegel.

But in case of early legislative, nothing guarantees that the result will be different from September.

The emergence of the AfD and its entry into the Chamber of Deputies has led the country to an atomization of the political landscape, and gave an assembly without a clear majority.

The Afd has an anti-immigrant, anti-Islam and anti-Merkel program.

– Migratory debate –

This party can capitalize on the failure of the chancellor, as the negotiations essentially failed on the issue of migration and the consequences of the generous asylum policy of Angela Merkel.


Ⓒ AFP – Jochen GEBAUER – | The German parliament

parties could not agree on a limit on the number of asylum seekers, or on the issue of family reunification in Germany for refugees. Conservatives and liberals wanted to completely curb the arrival of migrants, but the Greens advocated a more generous policy.

Finally, the situation in Germany is also bad news for the European partners in Berlin, especially France, whose president Emmanuel Macron presented proposals in September to reactivate the European Union and the euro zone.

Macron himself said on Monday that France “has no interest” in the situation in Germany “is crisp.”

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