Who is Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer? The 57-year-old was supposed to be the vehicle by which Merkel could elegantly slip out of office. She would not only take over the reins of the CDU and, by extension, be the party’s lead candidate for the chancellery, but would preserve her legacy, hence her nickname of “mini-Merkel”. At least that is what Merkel – who is serving her final term in office – had hoped. Kramp-Karrenbauer was a relatively low-key political figure when she was narrowly elected into the post of CDU leader in December 2018, having previously served as the party’s deputy leader for less than a year. Prior to that, she had governed the small western German state of Saarland. … [Read more...] about Germany’s political crisis: how did it start and what comes next?
Kramp karrenbauer biografie
"Whoever runs in the end will have to answer two questions: Can I bridge the gap? Or do I have to lead into one of the two directions?" Boehnke said.The CDU's cooperation with the AfD in the eastern state of Thuringia, which helped bring an end to Kramp-Karrenbauer's reign, showed how hard that is — especially in the emerging political landscape. As things stand, the old, traditionally centrist-leaning CDU and SPD will need at least two coalition partners to govern, and in many parts of the country may not even be the biggest parties. In states where the AfD is particularly strong, such as Thuringia, minority governments may become the new norm. … [Read more...] about Merkel’s party struggles with identity crisis in wake of CDU leader’s departure
“What happened in Thuringia was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” she told broadcaster Deutschlandfunk. “This hasn’t come out of the blue, but now this dilemma is really clear – this question of having equal distance to both parties… might look good on paper, but means at least under the conditions that eastern German parliaments are in that they face not having a majority and are unable to form a government.” … [Read more...] about Germany’s CDU wrestles with move towards far right or the left
For now, the race for the CDU leadership seems to be losing rather than gaining momentum. Two potential candidates, the youthful health minister, Jens Spahn, and the Merkel loyalist Armin Laschet, have so far declined to throw their hats into the ring. Another rumoured candidate, the Bavarian state premier, Markus Söder, has insisted he is happy to remain in his role in Munich. … [Read more...] about Fears grow that CDU crisis in Germany could spread across EU
Merkel has reacted cautiously. But there have been tentative steps in Macron’s direction. Last week, the Bundestag voted to fund a fighter jet project jointly with France. There is renewed talk of a European army, drawing on the existing Franco-German brigade. Kramp-Karrenbauer, who remains defence minister, favours a raised military profile and higher defence spending. “The need for Germany to become more involved out of its own interests, to develop the will and ability to make a greater contribution, has become even more pressing,” she said last week, talking about Brexit’s impact. … [Read more...] about Germany is weakened by doubt just as Europe looks to it for a strong lead