For the past years, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has become one of the most trustworthy politicians present in Europe. However, many experts are wondering if citizens will value Merkel the same during the upcoming elections in September, as the rise of both right and left wing within Germany could put Merkel in a bad electoral position.
According to some experts, Angela Merkel’s attempt of getting approved to go on in her 4th consecutive mandate as Chancellor could be in danger because of the popularity rise of the far-right movement. This political phenomenon is not only present in Germany, as the far-right parties are becoming popular in countries like the Netherlands and France.
However, these movements are not the only ones threatening Merkel’s attempt of maintaining in the chancellery. The left wing is also moving in Germany as there could be a possible resurgence. In this matter, the polemic journal Der Spiegel has published its last edition on a particular question on the cover that reads “Will She Fall?”
Experts are not capable of determining a reliable answer to Der Spiegel’s answer. Germany and the world itself were shocked after two unexpected electoral results in 2016. First, there was the Britains vote to leave the European Union, and later, the American’s election of Donald Trump as their President. Both outcomes affect Germany directly, as is one of the countries that depends mostly on the Pax Americana and solid global institutions after WWII.
Germany’s Parliament has elected a new president
Germany, unlike the United States, does not manage its political system through the Presidential figure. In this European country, the official head of the government is not the President but the Chancellor, who has a more than vital role within Germany and in the international world as well.
This Sunday, the German parliamentary assembly has elected Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a Social Democrat, as President of the nation. He won with 931 out of the 1,253 possible votes. He was able to obtain the position as former President Joachim Gauck did not follow any re-election plan.
Steinmeier, 61, has served as both Vice Chancellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs under Merkel’s administration. He has been one of the most critic European figures with U.S. President Donald Trump as he stated last year that Mr. Trump was a “hate preacher,” and talked about the ideological links between Trump and the far-right political movements rising in some parts of Europe.
Among Steinmeier recent declarations regarding Trump, he showed his concern over one of Trump’s postures that say that NATO, one of the most important political and strategical organizations in which both Europe and North America participate, is utterly obsolete.
European Council President Donald Tusk, acknowledges the current political situation as he congratulated Steinmeier appointment as President by the parliamentary assembly.
“Your appointment comes at a critical moment for Europe. The many external and internal challenges we are facing could hardly be more severe. In times like these, European unity is more important than ever, and I look forward to Germany’s continued contribution to the European project,” Tusk said in an official statement released this Sunday.
Tusk comments are oriented to raise concerns about Britain’s decision of leaving the European Union as well as the popularity that those kinds of movements are having in several parts of Europe.
Germany currently represents the biggest economy within the regional organization as it has played one of the most vital roles in the refugee crisis that is affecting the continent. Over the last two years, more than 1 million persons have entered Germany seeking asylum thanks to one of Merkel’s most controversial policies of letting many refugees enter the country without much problem.
How Germany is reacting to the worldwide status
Even when the German Presidential position is largely symbolical, the fact that Steinmeier, a center-left politician, has been elected as President with more than 80 percent of the parliamentary vote is considerable.
This charismatic politician encouraged Germans to be brave and bold during difficult situations by saying that “if we want to give others courage, then we must have some ourselves.” He also noticed how his experience as Minister of Foreign Affairs showed him how Germany had become a model for much countries around the world as he said that it was wonderful to see how his country was an anchor of hope during dark times.
The conservative head of parliament, Norbert Lammert, stated before the vote for Steinmeier a series of concerns about some figures trying to weaken European associationism.
“Whoever champions a closed mind instead of openness to the world, whoever literally walls themselves in, bets on protectionism instead of free trade and preaches isolationism instead of states cooperating, and declares ‘We first’ as a program, should not be surprised if others do the same,” Lammert said during the last Parliament session.
Germany has become one of the critical pillars that hold Western liberal order, and because of this, the September 24 general election is being watched carefully by the whole international community.
Source: The New York Times