Bruno Cavalier (ODDO BHF) | In a few weeks’ time, Angela Merkel will cease to be Chancellor, a position she has held since 2005. Polls show that the three main contenders to succeed her are tied. Despite Germany’s good performance in the first Covid-19 wave, successive waves of contagions brought new restrictions in early 2021, delaying the recovery. Also, Germany clearly suffers from its overexposure to the automotive industry, which is 25 points below normal.
Kiran Bowry | In 2015, the European refugee crisis awoke Germans from a long and comforting slumber that Angela Merkel had lulled them into with her political style. The term “asymmetric demobilization” came to be known as a way of describing the German chancellor’s shrewd strategy of sitting on the fence and thereby winning elections. Merkel weakened her political competitors by avoiding controversial issues and, in doing so, choking off debate. Simultaneously, she adopted popular policy stances of her opponents and demobilized their potential voters.
Lidia Conde | Over the weekend in Germany, the CDU elected Angela Merkel’s replacement as head of the party. They bet on continuity with the election of the moderate Armin Laschet. For the first time in Germany’s history, the person who occupies the chancellor’s office is leaving voluntarily. And she does so with the respect and recognition of her opponents and successors, both in the CDU and in the government.
Lidia Conde (Frankfurt) | Germany takes over the rotating presidency of the European Union Council from July. The other member states’ expectations are high. All the dimensions of the health, social and economic impact of the coronavirus are still unknown. But we know that the consequences could be immense. All together to relaunch Europe” is the German Presidency’s motto and one which is not just words. Germany and its Chancellor Angela Merkel are committed to it.
Jens Bastian | With Merkel’s gradual retreat from German politics, a new sense of political timing is set in motion across capital cities in Europe. How will Athens react to the gradual changing of the guards in Berlin? While much air time and social media is being consumed with domestic political quarrels in Greece, both government representatives and opposition parties will be well-advised to look closely at the next developments in Germany.
The market reaction to Angela Merkel’s decision has not been bad. The euro depreciated to 1.1373 against the dollar, but sovereign debt suffered more because of the greater risk appetite, and the returns on 10 years German bonds rose to +2.5 bp. However, given that Merkel has held the role of a stabilising figure in Europe, some analysts expect that the long term markets could be concerned by the vacuum she could create with her departure.
Trump is contagious. The President of Bavaria, Markus Söder, and the conservative Interior Minister, Horst Seehofer, both Social Christians, have found the magic recipe of Germany first politics to defend their coalition’s -CSU is the partner of Merkel’s CDU in Berlin- absolute majority in the next state elections in the region in October.
Ana Fuentes | “The European leaders will also have to deal with insuring and enlarging a multilateral open system for trade, threatened not only by the US policies, which will lead to Germany having to accept more responsibility within the EU and in the world – and this includes not only the fields of economy and finance,” says Joachim Bitterlich, who was advisor to former Chancellor Helmut Kohl and is currently Professor at the ESCP School in Paris.
Is Germany pro-independence? No, no it isn’t, despite the fact that the separtist propaganda operates intelligently in Germany – with Puigdemont top of the list, in his role as the victim of an oppressive and anti-democratic Spain.
It’s been some time since Europe has had a leader with such clear ideas as Emmanuel Macron, but Angela Merkel is not really happy about it. And that’s logical, because she has been calling all the shots. She has the power in Europe and so don’t expect even the slightest concession from her which is anything more than esthetic.