Today: December 11 2018
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Angela Merkel went all in

Angela Merkel went all in

Tags: Merkel, Politics, Germany, Analytics

Nobody wants to part with the authorities, and even in the new history of Germany, almost all the chancellors left their office very reluctantly. So Angela Merkel, already trying to form a new government for several months, put everything at stake on the weekend. She said that she intends to work as chancellor until the year 2021 - in spite of nothing. Will this kind of pressure help her to stay in her chair at least until the end of this year?

For a century and a half since the unification of Germany, its government was led by a little over 30 people, and few left their posts without arguments and indignations. It's not even about Bismarck or Hitler - in Germany, too, is a very peculiar tradition of "pushing" the chancellors from their leading chair. The Social Democrats Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt were not going anywhere, but were dismissed as a result of combinations behind which stood not only the Christian democrats competing with them, but also the overseas "guarantors" of Atlantic solidarity.

Against Angela Merkel, the "Washington Regional Committee" does not intrigue in any way - because of the internal political struggle going on in the United States, Washington's unified position also disappeared.

"We must take responsibility for our destiny in our own hands," - Angela Merkel told the Europeans about Europe, abandoned to the mercy of fate Trampov America. But so far she can not cope even with her own destiny. Maybe because she is trying to keep power with all her might, when everything shows that she is losing her?

The epic with the formation of a new German cabinet is already the sixth month - and last week it seemed that there was a good chance of its successful completion. Angela Merkel promised the Social Democrats at once two key ministries - finance and foreign affairs - and a coalition agreement was signed. It remained only to wait for his approval by the parties. Not only the Christian Democrats Merkel and the Bavarian Christian Social Union (whose leader, Bavarian Prime Minister Seehofer received the post of Minister of Internal Affairs in the new cabinet), but, most importantly, the Social Democrats who were to vote 4 March. And not at the congress, like the rest of the party, but by general party voting. And if the majority of 440 thousand members of the SPD support a coalition agreement - then, the new government should be Merkel.

The chances of this were "fifty-fifty" - at the congress in January the SPD hardly approved the idea of ​​resuming negotiations (initially the party went to the elections of last autumn with the promise to stop working with Merkel), and the attitude of ordinary party members to the coalition with the CDU was even worse , than at delegates of congress. To obtain the consent of the party members for the coalition, the head of the party Martin Schulz even decided to give up the post of the head of the party Andrea Nales.

47-year-old head of the SPD faction in the Bundestag belongs to the left wing of the party - and thus Schultz wanted to somehow smooth out the discontent of the left with the renewal of the coalition with the CDU. And Schultz himself would become vice-chancellor and head of the Foreign Ministry. But then everything finally fell down.

First offended was Sigmar Gabriel, the current head of the Foreign Ministry and the former head of the SPD. He voluntarily surrendered Schulz a year ago as leader of the party - counting on the fact that then the chairman of the European Parliament, Schultz, will lead the SPD to victory. But Comrade Martin not only failed to justify the trust (the party received the worst result in the post-war history), but also deceived Gabriel, after taking to his post. That is, it would be okay to still a coalition with the CDU - but such that Gabriel was without a significant ministerial chair.

A scandal broke out - Gabriel publicly rebuked Schulz. As a result, the latter refused to hold the post of Foreign Minister - for the sake of party unity. But what kind of unity can there be if the leadership of the party is in complete turmoil - its leaders (led by German President Steinmeier, who only formally became non-partisan) are pushing out the unpopular decision in the party about the coalition with Merkel, while they can not agree on distribution of posts.

And all this against the backdrop of the fact that everyone understands that he does not want to go to reelection of the SPD. It can get even fewer votes - this is shown by public opinion polls, and the constant throwing of its leaders only further exacerbates the situation. The discord between Gabriel and Schultz worsens the chances of the new coalition's approval - after all, the party is told that joining such a government will inflict irreparable damage on the SPD and will work only to extend the power of Merkel.

However, the latter can be argued. The discord in the SPD is in fact unprofitable to Angela Merkel - because she was already accused of her own party in that she made too much concessions to the Social Democrats. Both in the program of the future cabinet, and in the distribution of posts - and the Atlantists saw in the agreed program a departure from the rigid line across Russia. And if now the Social Democrats refuse to join the coalition, Merkel will have to justify herself before the one-party people - first she pushed them to the maximum concessions of the SPD, and now what to do? Edit yourself - that is, the first time in the history of Germany to form a minority government?

If 4 March SPD, which two days before it is headed by Andrea Nales, will vote against the Merkel-Schulz agreement, then the CDU-CSU has two options for action. Form a minority government (alone or by agreeing with "green" or free democrats) or go to a new election. But the new elections - in this case they will be held at the end of April - the CDU-CSU is afraid as much as the SPD. Because according to the polls, the Merkel party will lose their voices - and even more because then the question of changing the leader of the party will definitely arise. That is, the departure of Merkel. And to avoid this, the Chancellor is now ready for anything. About what her statements say in a Sunday interview with the Berlin direkt program of the ZDF channel.

Merkel said she was not going to leave her post until the next parliamentary elections in 2021:

"I was running for four years. I promised people these four years, and I'm one of those people who keep promises. "

Formally, there is nothing new in this - but the moment in which these words are said, gives them special significance. In fact, Merkel appeals to the Social Democrats, letting them know that regardless of how they vote 4 March, she will remain in power. Ultimatum - that is, take posts in the government, because I'm already offering you more than you are supposed to? In fact, yes - another thing is that these words of Merkel can push the SPD not to vote "for", but to an even more confident vote "against".

And what will happen if the SPD votes against the "big coalition"? Although Merkel did not rule out the possibility of new parliamentary elections in an interview, the most important thing in her words is that in this case too, she does not intend to resign from the chair of the CDU. Merkel said that she intends to continue to be the head of the CDU, and did not agree that she loses her authority within the party. This is an obvious lie - Merkel's position in the party is deteriorating, and she just makes a good face in a bad game.

In fact, Merkel is bluffing - in a situation where her potential partner, the Social Democrats, is panicked about elections, it is important for her to convince him that she is in a better position. And that she can afford and go to new elections, and form a minority government - so everything is under control. The Social Democrats, split and without an undisputed leader, understand that Merkel "takes them to fright" - but what can they oppose to her?

Nothing but withdrawal to the opposition - then the chancellor will have to demonstrate his ability to survive. That is, if 4 March SPD speaks out against the agreement with the CDU, then Andrea Nales will start gaining points as the head of the opposition party, and Angela Merkel will be forced to rule without reliance on the parliamentary majority. And with every important vote to seek the votes of the Social Democrats, then the "green" and the Liberal Democrats.

Will such a government be sustainable? Of course not. Will the German elites want to play in such a cabinet - whose very existence will work to weaken Germany's position in the European Union and the world as a whole? Of course not. The maximum that such a government can count on is six months or a year of existence in conditions of constant maneuvering and weakness. And then - failure to vote for any government bill, crisis, or even a vote of no confidence with subsequent early elections to the Bundestag. So why cut the cat's tail in parts? Even if this "cat" herself is Angela Merkel.

So if 4 March SPD rejects the coalition, Merkel has, in fact, only one option - go for early parliamentary elections. And although the Chancellor is sure that she should lead the party to the elections of 22 April, patience among the heavyweights of the CDU may burst. The party may not agree to incur further losses in the name of retaining Merkel in power for another three years. After all, with the opinion of the chairman of the "Alternatives for Germany" Jorg Moyten that the coalition will lead to the weakening of the Christian democrats, very many agree in the CDU itself.

And by the way, if the "big coalition" somehow glitters somehow, "Alternative", which received the third result last fall (13 percent of votes), will become the main opposition party in the Bundestag, that is, it will get prominent posts in parliamentary committees and the opportunity influence the agenda - and this is a matter of great concern to the entire German system establishment.

Moyten after signing the agreement Merkel with Schulz called it a disaster for Germany, adding that "this agreement will accelerate the collapse of Christian Democrats and Social Democrats and at the same time will promote healthy growth of AdG" and predicted the coalition collapse earlier than 2021. Because it is "a coalition of greedy losers."

Merkel, Schultz, Gabriel and other status politicians, naturally, do not consider themselves to be losers - however, the March 4 vote could be the last bell for the entire Merkel era.

Peter Akopov
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