By Hanif Ghaffari 

The traditional German parties are in danger

May 29, 2019 - 11:45

TEHRAN - As much time passes, Merkel's power is at the head of the political and administrative equations of Berlin. It should not be forgotten that the German Chancellor was in the past a symbol of unity in the European Union and the Eurozone. However, today Angela Merkel has become the symbol of EU power cuts! Now, the two Christian and Social Democrats, which are the most traditional German parties, are not very popular with German voters. This could lead to profound changes on the political, economic and social scene of Germany. On the other hand, it is widely accepted that any change in Germany will also affect other European countries.

Now, the German Chancellor is concerned about his political future, on the one hand, and worried about the fate of the European Union and the Eurozone. However, it must be admitted that Angela Merkel is also involved in shaping the situation! The economic policies of austerity imposed by the German Chancellor and his unnecessary accompaniment to many of the Democratic and Republican Party policies and policies in the United States have played an important role in creating the current situation. It's a difficult time for the Chancellor of Germany! She had to pass the power inside the Christian Democrat Party to her rival, Kramp-Karenbauer. In a conference, Karenbauer rejected claims that she was the “mini Merkel”.

“People consider me a ‘mini,’ a copy, a simple ‘more of the same,’ but I can tell you that I stand here as my own person, just as life has shaped me and of that I am proud,” she said. 

 Angela Merkel has announced that she will step down of power in 2021, but the polls conducted in Germany has intensively worried her. The results of these polls indicate that the total popularity of the two traditional German parties, the coalition of the Christian and Social Democrats, have fallen below 50%. This suggests the unpopularity of the coalition government among the German citizens. Merkel now has to run the weak coalition government until 2021!

Many analysts of Europe's affairs believe that Merkel's power is actually over. The Chancellor of Germany is no longer the symbol of power in United Europe. She has lost the power of managing the power equations in her country. In other words, Merkel has become a "passive player" in Berlin, the European Union, and the Eurozone.

This is while Merkel had previously said that she hoped her planned departure would end bitter fighting in her weak and fractious right-left coalition, confessing that “the picture the government is sending out is unacceptable”.

Merkel is currently worried about polls in Germany. According to an Infratest dimap survey, the Alternative for Germany (AFD), the Green Party and Liberal Democrats are now increasing their relative popularity to challenge the two ruling parties (Christian Democrats and Social Democrats) and to end the domination of the two traditional German parties on the power equations in Berlin. Undoubtedly, Merkel can't be now regarded as a successful politician at the head of the political and administrative equations of Germany. At the beginning of the German coalition government, many analysts believed that the presence of Social-Democrats alongside the Christian Democrats was a big mistake. The anti-EU and anti-immigration party of "Alternative for Germany" has become the main opposition party in the German parliament. On the other hand, as the current trend continues and the popularity of the two traditional German ruling parties drops in the polls, they will lose more votes in the upcoming German elections in 2021.

What is happening today in Germany is a big catastrophe for Merkel, the Christian Democrat and, subsequently, the Social-Democratic Party. It's not possible to restore the political power of these two parties in the near future, that is, as long as they are working together in the coalition government of Germany. On the other hand, the political equations in Germany are so complex that none of the traditional German parties will be able to win the majority of seats in the parliament.  As a result, a large part of the German authorities' time and energy will be consumed by forming a coalition government (which will be a weak one). This will undermine the position of Germany's leadership in United Europe. In this sophisticated game, the Alternative for Germany (which the other German parties are unwilling to join) have been struggling to broaden its political and social popularity. This extremist party hopes that other right-wingers, including French national leader Marin Le Pen, will be able to win good results in the elections and other political platforms in their country, and that their victory will influence Germany. 

 Merkel is no longer the symbol of Christian Democrats' power in Germany's and Europe's equations. A political history of the German Chancellor as the EU leader has come to an end at a time when her substitute (in the event of a relative and fragile victory in the country's next general elections), should devote her power to attempts for the formation of a coalition or minimal government in Berlin. Without a doubt, Angela Merkel never imagined that she would have to permanently withdraw from power in Europe by 2021, as an incapable chancellor.

Meanwhile, the Chancellor of Germany is uncertain about the future of her coalition government before 2021. As The Reuters reported, Voters in the northern state of Bremen look set to inflict a humiliating blow on Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) in an election on Sunday that could hasten the end of their loveless federal coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives. Polls in Germany’s smallest state focused on the port city of the same name, are tight but indicate the SPD risks losing a stronghold it has ruled for 73 years. 
No other German state has been ruled by the same party for so long. If the SPD loses Bremen to the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU), pressure will mount on party leader Andrea Nahles to stand down or break with the federal coalition. In a sign of growing unrest inside the SPD, German weekly Bild is Sonntag reported that former party leader Martin Schulz wants to replace Nahles as chief.

Bremen has the highest jobless level of any German state. Most recent polls suggest there is scope for three outcomes in Bremen: a grand coalition of the SPD and CDU; a coalition of the CDU, Greens, and the business-friendly FDP; or a coalition of SPD with the far-left Die Linke party and the Greens.

Many among the SPD’s rank and file are fed up with serving as Merkel’s allies, a thankless role the party has fulfilled in 10 of the last 14 years and which has left the chancellor to steal the limelight, especially on the international stage. The party reluctantly re-entered a Merkel-led coalition last year after slumping to its weakest level since 1933 in the 2017 federal election. It has since sunk even lower, polling at about 17 percent, more than 10 points behind the conservatives.

The party is due to review the coalition by the end of the year and pressure from members could grow to ditch it and instead reinvigorate its leftist roots in opposition such a move could force a snap federal election, an unappealing option for both the SPD and conservative bloc, or possibly the formation of a different coalition which would be a tricky task. Either of those scenarios could hasten Merkel’s exit, a subject of increasing speculation since she handed the CDU leadership to her protege Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer last year.

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