With her coalition government nearly in tatters following a raft of regional election losses, German Chancellor signaled the end of her decades-long leadership, announcing she will not seek re-election when her current term expires.
Barring a completely collapse of the government—which remains a distinct possibility—the current government is set to expire in 2021. In the meantime, Merkel’s center-right Christian Democratic Union is desperately clinging to power with its coalition partner, the center-left Social Democratic Party, which has also been battered in regional elections.
Over the weekend, voters in the Hesse state blasted both the CDU and the SPD, which saw their support fall to 28 and 20 percent, respectively. This prompted SPD leader Andrea Nahles to declare:
“The state of the government is unacceptable.”
As the byproduct of populism that is spreading throughout the world, politics in Germany has become increasingly polarized over the past few years. CDU has been hurt by the slide right to the Alternative for Germany Party, while the SPD has been damaged by a slide left to the Greens party.
The German government has nearly collapsed twice just in the past two months over relatively minor political squabbles, but the principle argument is centered on mass immigration that has been promoted by Merkel. In the meantime, the European Union is trying to come to grips with the loss of the core of its political and economic base.
That leadership role ostensibly now falls upon the shoulders of French President Emmanuel Macron, who has also come under attack for his pro-European and pro-immigration views.
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