Merkel Tells German Carmakers to Regain Trust

The only viable alternative which could threaten Chancellor Merkel's leadership is a three party coalition of the SDP, the Green Party, and the former Communist party, Die Lienke. Which inevitably moved the center-right policy positions of the CDU/CSU to the left in order to keep the socialist faction of the grand coalition in the government. (Indeed, it's been called the "party of professors.") Its supporters tend to be more highly educated and financially better off than the supporters of other parties.

Angela Merkel's chief rival in Germany's upcoming national elections has come out swinging against dismal polling numbers for his centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), soldiering on in his bid to claw voter support away from Merkel's conservatives in the run-up to September 24. But Merkel's CDU and its Bavarian allies CSU slipped two points to 36 percent, close to the all-time low of 35 percent when the Social Democrats (SPD) led by Gerhard Schroeder defeated them in 1998.

The SPD is in second place with 23%.

Merkel's conservative CDU/CSU bloc holds a solid poll lead, but looks set to miss an absolute majority that would allow it to rule alone. Schulz and the SPD have since struggled to regain momentum.

The Free Democratic Party (FDP) led by Christian Lindner is a free-market, economically liberal, pro-tax-cut party now polling around eight percent. After forming a coalition government, a process that can last a month, the president of Germany, a representative, will appoint the Federal Chancellor, who is normally the leader of the party most voted, and finally the parliamentarians will confirm that nomination by secret ballot. The FDP failed to clear that hurdle in 2013 in a humiliating defeat for a party that enjoyed 64 straight years in the Bundestag and was part of 17 government cabinets. That won't change, he said. That would give her a fourth term and cement her position as "the EU's top politician and a force for worldwide cooperation in a world buffeted by political crises and a surge in nationalism". Merkel knows this, and as the electorate sees chaos all around - from Trump's America and Putin's Russian Federation, to a nuclear North Korea and the Middle East - she sees it as sufficient to merely promise the electorate a continuation of business as usual.

Germany's clout in the European Union has grown since Merkel was first elected in 2005 and waxed even further in the wake of the twin shocks of 2016: Brexit and Trump's election president. The 150-year-old SPD has survived two World Wars, the Nazis and the communists - but it has never encountered anything like chancellor Angela Merkel.

But she added that the recent wave of migrants "should not and will not be repeated".

But Merkel, who is on track to win a fourth term, was also careful not to alienate the auto sector, highlighting its role as a "key industry" that employs some 870,000 people nationwide and is an important engine of growth for Germany and Europe.

"We'd welcome China to help constructively solve other global challenges". For Farage, what's alarming isn't AfD - it's Merkel, whose open-doors policy on refugees he has described as the "worst decision by any leader in modern political history".

"The election will not have any impact on Germany-China relations", said Bernt Berger, a senior fellow and Asia specialist at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) think tank in Berlin. The lone major debate between Merkel and Schulz was a conspicuously polite and tame affair. "They both have a very pragmatic approach". During the election campaign, both Merkel and Schulz have tirelessly advocated for the European Union to assume a more proactive role on the world stage - this included the Chancellor's comments in May that Europe should become more independent from its U.S. and British allies. "For me, she is not electable, and untenable for the people", said the man, who identified himself only as a truck driver born in Stralsund.

  • Salvatore Jensen