Destinations Magazine

Germany’s Government: Easy Politics, Bad Policies

By Stizzard
Germany’s government: Easy politics, bad policies

ANGELA MERKEL, Germany’s chancellor, is popular because Germans see her as a steady hand. In her first term, between 2005 and 2009, she coped with financial turmoil emanating from America. In her second, from 2009 to 2013, she kept the euro crisis at bay. In her third term, now in its fifth month, she is Europe’s leader in confronting Russia over Ukraine.At home, however, she is less sure. She could be ambitious. As in her first term, she is in a “grand coalition” of the two biggest groups in parliament: her own Christian Democratic Union (CDU) with its Bavarian sister party on the centre-right, and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) on the centre-left. The opposition has just one-fifth of the seats, and consists of two parties with little credibility. The smaller is the Greens, still squabbling after their defeat in September’s election. The larger is the ex-communist Left Party. Its parliamentary leader, Gregor Gysi, is easily the Bundestag’s most entertaining and witty speaker, but that is largely because he is unburdened by any responsibility.During her previous grand coalition Mrs Merkel made one big domestic reform. In Europe’s fastest-ageing country, she…

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