Was she popular? German voters were never in favour of Kramp-Karrenbauer becoming chancellor and she had a rocky ride from the start, suffering a string of embarrassing gaffes – including a joke about gender-neutral toilets – and comments on fake news, on which she was forced to backtrack. More significantly, she failed to unite the party on its trickiest topic: migration. Divisions had been opened up by Merkel’s open-door policy on refugees in late 2015, which led to the arrival of almost a million newcomers and fuelled the rise of the AfD. As the party rowed, it lost increasing numbers of voters to both the Greens and the AfD, whose rise in eastern Germany in particular has threatened to topple the CDU as the largest conservative force. … [Read more...] about Germany’s political crisis: how did it start and what comes next?
Kramp karrenbauer helmut
"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
“It’s completely right … to say there will be no form of cooperation with the AfD, because this party does not sufficiently distant itself from positions and groups that we really can have nothing to do with,” he told Die Zeit. “At the same time the CDU ... against the backdrop of the past, is not prepared to enter a coalition with Die Linke. Now we have a situation where the AfD and Die Linke have more than 50% [of the vote] ... and a government must be enabled, if necessary a minority government, like we see in other European states.” … [Read more...] about Germany’s CDU wrestles with move towards far right or the left
The 57-year-old “mini-Merkel” from the Saarland region had struggled in the seat at the top of Germany’s largest and most powerful party since being elected in December 2018. Many moderates in the party felt she was suppressing her liberal instincts to appease hardliners calling on the CDU to tack right. … [Read more...] about Fears grow that CDU crisis in Germany could spread across EU
Germany, regarded since reunification in 1990 as a steadying influence at the heart of Europe, is entering a new epoch of uncertainty just as pressure grows for it to show a lead. Post-war shibboleths are crumbling. And the banished ghosts of the far-right are re-emerging from dark and dusty attics. … [Read more...] about Germany is weakened by doubt just as Europe looks to it for a strong lead