Angela Merkel is a socialist leader

Chancellor without a majority : Angela Merkel in the focus of the world

The difficult formation of a government after the federal election on September 24th is also irritating and unsettling to politicians and the media abroad. Some rejoice - others fear instability.


What's going on in Germany? Will Angela Merkel fail? One hears this question a lot in France these days. When the French are asked to say what comes to their minds first about Germany in polls, Angela Merkel was always mentioned. And now this symbol of stability seems to be wavering, the French are concerned. Because Germany's crisis also affects France and President Emmanuel Macron, who is blocked with his European plans. The once most powerful woman in the world is perceived as weakened in France, and thus also in Germany.

Many fear that an era in Germany is coming to an end. “Is it the end of Angela Merkel?” Asks the radio station Europe1 and the daily newspaper “Le Figaro” puts it: “She is fighting for her political survival.” But the French do not want to believe in the end of this German symbol, it seems too strong Merkel still to them. After all, she has often managed to overcome crises. Above all, the French are asking themselves the question raised by the Sunday newspaper “Le Journal du Dimanche”: “Can the Social Democrats save Angela Merkel?”

Nevertheless, there is already speculation as to who could follow Merkel, named Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Ursula von der Leyen. A real alternative to the once so strong Merkel is not yet seen in France. "Les Echos" therefore emphasizes: "Even if Angela Merkel is weakened because she failed to form a coalition, she must stay at the top, the near future of Europe depends on it." Tanja Kuchenbecker


The Italian media agree: It is the Chancellor's twilight, “the fall of dear Angela” (Giuliano Ferrara in the right “Il Foglio”). A legend has cracks and could now crumble completely, wrote the Germany correspondent for the Corriere della Sera after the failure of the Jamaica talks. No plan in the refugee crisis, missed climate targets, she underestimated the danger of Brexit and did nothing against the incestuous relationship between the government and the auto industry in Germany until the diesel scandal, says Danilo Taino. This is wrong policy, plus a political mistake: The fourth mandate as Chancellor was “too much for a democratic country”.

The Roman “la Repubblica” headed its report on the end of Jamaica “Merkel's crisis”, while its Berlin correspondent Tonia Mastrobuono speaks of “a severe defeat” for the Chancellor. Commentator Angelo Bolaffi sees wear and tear from power. Above all, like all important Chancellors, Merkel pays the price for a courageous decision, Brandt once for the Eastern Treaty, she now for her refugee policy. The most cautious is, of all people, a former colleague who was connected to Merkel in mutual disregard. "I would be careful to see Ms. Merkel shortly before resigning," tweeted ex-prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, himself a master of political survival. "At the moment I don't see any other anchor of stability in German politics than you." Andrea Dernbach

Great Britain

Gisela Stuart, the German-born Labor politician and staunch Brexit supporter, cheered after the collapse of the Jamaica explorations: Now there is “panic” in German politics, and that comes of it if you don't listen to the Euro-skeptical voters didn't want to know anything about the EU superstate. The Brexit hardliners among the conservatives were also initially happy: there was now a government crisis in Germany, and that could only be good for Britain's exit from the EU, it was said. For example, the situation could be used to lower the “exit bill” in negotiations with the EU.

And anyway: the government crisis in Germany can distract from one's own, which has been simmering since the exit referendum in June 2016. But it was probably not clear to some that executive federal governments could well last for a few months. And now that the continuation of the black-red coalition is on the horizon, continuity would be the order of the day in Brexit matters. Angela Merkel is seen in Great Britain as a symbol of German pragmatism and political stability. The well-known publicist Simon Jenkins called her the “goddess of common sense”. One likes to see the Chancellor as a force that resists the French urge for “more EU”. With Emmanuel Macron as “Chief European”, further negotiations with EU partners could possibly become more difficult, is a constant fear in London. Albert Funk


Angela Merkel's difficulties in forming a government have dealt a severe blow to the Chancellor's reputation as the most important politician in Europe from Turkey's point of view. “Is the Merkel legend at an end?” Asked the newspaper “Karar” in the headline of an analysis that named French President Emmanuel Macron as the new head of Europe's top politicians.

Politicians in Ankara may think similarly. In any case, the telephone diplomacy of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after his summit meeting with his counterparts from Russia and Iran, Vladimir Putin and Hasan Ruhani, allows such a conclusion. After his talks with Putin and Ruhani about the Syria conflict, Tayyip Erdogan first informed Donald Trump and then Macron by phone. Angela Merkel was not on the call list.

The image of Merkel's politics in Turkey has so far been shaped primarily by her undisputed leading position in Europe. This picture is now wavering. Erdogan or other government politicians have so far not commented on Merkel's domestic political problems, but in light of the German-Turkish tensions of the past few months, the government-related press registered with a certain glee that their whereabouts in the Chancellery are no longer entirely certain. In the meantime, the resignation of the head of government is required, reported the newspaper "Türkiye". Susanne Güsten


"The end of the Merkel era" reported the Russian state news agency Ria Novosti shortly after the termination of the Jamaica coalition negotiations. The wish seemed to have been the father of the thought. The German Chancellor is not particularly well liked in the Russian mainstream of opinion. Her refugee policy, portrayed in the media as threatening and unreasonable, is heavily criticized, as is her resolute stance in the Ukraine crisis and her pro-European positions. The state broadcaster RT called her the “Iron Woman of Europe” a few days ago - which was not meant as a compliment. Every setback by Merkel is seen with satisfaction, as it opens up the possibility for the Kremlin of weakening the European project.

A Germany without Merkel would offer the chance of a fresh start with a politician with less strict convictions. As long as that does not happen, a grand coalition with the SPD is preferred to an imponderable Jamaica combination. After all, it is social democratic circles that insist on more dialogue with the Kremlin, even if it is not always clear what this should consist of. Seen in this way, Moscow would have to get along with a Chancellor Merkel in the event of a grand coalition, but at least it knows exactly what it is getting. And that is no less important for the Kremlin. Jutta Sommerbauer

United States

Looking at the difficult formation of a government in Berlin makes for a very rare constellation in the USA: supporters and opponents of traditional Western politics see Angela Merkel's problems not as a purely German phenomenon, but as a development with consequences for all of Europe. Everyone agrees that the US Chancellor, who was proclaimed leader of the western world in the face of Donald Trump's isolationist slogans, is severely weakened.

The Chancellor's difficulties are registered with satisfaction in right-wing populist media. The result of the general election was a slap in the face for the entire European establishment, commented the newspaper "New York Post" with satisfaction. The "New York Times" regrets this development. At a time when Europe needs a strong Germany in view of Brexit, the Trump presidency and other challenges, a "phase of greater uncertainty is ahead". Some foresee the end of Merkel's career. But that is no reason to speak of a crisis, wrote the political scientist Dan Hough in the "Washington Post". The Germans' striving for consensus and a well-staffed political substitute bank to solve the succession issue are good prerequisites for the country to overcome the problems. Thomas Seibert


China evaluates Angela Merkel's problems to form a new government as further evidence of the superiority of its own political system. The election of Donald Trump as US president and Brexit would have shown, the propaganda line goes, that democratic elections favor the rise of populists and bring with them serious uncertainty. One-party rule under socialism with Chinese characteristics, on the other hand, ensures stability.

"The latest incident shows that Berlin's political system, known for its stability, has reached a new phase of instability in which the parties have less and less in common," writes the state-controlled newspaper "Global Times". The state news agency Xinhua even speaks of "Merkel's end and Germany's sad future" on the occasion of the termination of the Jamaica negotiations.

Along with the problems of democratic states, China's self-confidence for its own system also seems to be growing. As the Berlin China research institute Merics reports, the political theory journal Qiushi recently said that Western democracies had produced “money-oriented politics and populism” that do not fit in with other countries. At the same time, the magazine described China as the “largest democracy in the world” at the moment. Benedikt Voigt

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