Analysis: Angela Merkel’s Challenges

Merkel's new governmentHowever, in the continent those speeches were accompanied by a final touch of tolerance so as to avoid an exit from the euro (especially a case of “Grexit”) and also a deeper crisis for the new currency.

Angela Merkel has acquired more power in last Sunday elections. Winning by 8 more points (from 34% to 45% of the votes) is somehow extraordinary, whereas achieving a third term seems even impossible. Nonetheless, this result hides a weakness: even if Merkel almost reaches absolute majority, the remaining votes will be difficult to obtain. It is unlikely that any of the two parties is interested in forming a government coalition with the Social Democrats or the Greens due to their small marginal weight. Furthermore, both parties know that such alliance would be contrary to the minor partner, as liberals themselves realized when they were left out and are now at risk of disappearing.

The Chancellor strengthens her authority both in Germany and Europe, but she doesn’t have the majority in either of the two chambers, so she must “seduce” some of the opposition MPs. Thus, this victory opens a new stage for the German government but also for Europe. Now the German parliament has only four parliamentary groups with centrists and right wing together as winners, and left wing divided into three different groups with little interest to cooperate. This is a new political map that brings uncertainties of a different nature.

About the Author

Fernando Gonzalez Urbaneja
Over 30 years working in economic journalism. Fernando was founder and chief-editor at El País, general editor at the business daily Cinco Días, and now teaches at Universidad Carlos III. He's been president of the Madrid Press Association and the Spanish Federation of Press Associations. He's also member of the Spanish press complaints commission.

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