German election results unlikely to alter relations with Czech Republic

Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel

NELSON: There's a number of parties she could partner with.

The DAX index had a tight week of consolidation in a week that culminates in the German elections.

He said that some of the more recent EU members, in central and eastern Europe, were anxious that France and Germany would leave them in the EU sidelines after the United Kingdom, which used to keep the Franco-German bloc in check, departed the Union.

"Although the AfD is highly unlikely to fare as well as the extreme right in France or the Netherlands, any relative success for the AfD will reflect badly to worldwide onlookers, given German history", said Mr Gerd Appenzeller of Berlin's daily Tagesspiegel. This puts the A.F.D. well over the five-per-cent threshold guaranteeing representation in the Bundestag-a unsafe landmark. That would give it great influence in parliamentary proceedings and in the media, an astonishing surge for the first far-right party in the Bundestag since the 1950s. The AfD is against the euro and Merkel's migration policies and would not be wanted in a Merkel-led coalition. Although a grand coalition remains our base case (CIO estimate: 60%), uncertainty is much higher when it comes to the CDU/ CSU's future coalition partner. This has led to speculation that a Jamaica coalition could be on the table - so-called due to the black, yellow and green colours that represent the three parties.

But the troubling question is, why is the A.F.D., with its ugly, racialized rhetoric, an alternative for anybody?

The prospect of an estimated 60 MPs from such a nativist outfit taking seats in the Bundestag - the lower house of parliament - has added urgency and angst to what had always been dismissed as a suspense-free campaign. Anyone in power for twelve years, as Merkel has been, will face restlessness, and her decision to let nearly a million refugees into Germany was not a simple one.

"It is sad that Germany is sacrificing its relations with Turkey for the sake of the campaign, in order to get some votes from the right", he added. Part of the problem is to her left, as well as her right.

That would be a sizable disappointment compared with her target of teaming up with the CDU's traditional allies, the liberal Free Democrats, expected to re-enter parliament after a four-year absence. "That's exactly what they want".

But even with Mr Schulz's European Union experience, the party will have to overshadow Ms Merkel's own legacy in Europe.

To his point, although investment in Germany is on the rise, there have been relatively few corporate exits to date (Delivery Hero's recent IPO is an exception.) Meanwhile, the European Commission estimates that by 2020, there could be about 756,000 job vacancies for coders, engineers and tech specialists across the EU. Even Mrs Merkel's trademark hand gesture - fingers held together to form a diamond shape while she speaks - has been replicated on the banners held up by the cheering audience. It's a testament to her strength and importance, but it doesn't mean she's "too big for Europe". In August, struggling, Schulz took to calling her "abgehoben", or aloof, and suggested that he would be a tougher opponent for Trump.

Numerous new voters are young adults born in Germany.

Some among the throng are trying to escape after taking a wrong turn on their way to a Prussian palace or museum, like 64-year-old Anton Warzecher, who says he has already made up his mind and does not need to hear another pitch from Schulz. Just over 64 percent of those surveyed at the beginning of June said they were satisfied with the job she has been doing as chancellor, making her the most popular politician in the country. "And we don't yet have that audience". We have a Presidential system. With right-wing parties in power in eastern European nations like Poland and Hungary growing increasingly authoritarian, Germans voting for a centrist, progressive and prudent political leadership is good news for all.

The AfD approach is abhorrent and often nonsensical, says Gero Neugebauer, a retired professor and political analyst in Berlin.

The UK and Ireland historically voted in similar ways on important issues regarding trade and openness, agriculture and tax. And why would that be? It Is estimated that around one in 10 Germans support the party. Also with Erdogan or the Turkish government, you can wonder what have they done for the people here to gain their loyalty?

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