Published On: Thu, Nov 23rd, 2017

Germany must NOT be Europe's political dwarf: Merkel warned MACRON will rise up to lead EU


Leader of Merkel’s conservatives in the Bundestag, Volker Kauder called upon the Chancellor to provide leadership in Europe and that Germany must be a “bastion of stability.”

Kauder said Germany needed a government to provide leadership in Europe.

“Europe is waiting for a Germany capable of acting so that it can finally respond to the questions raised by French President (Emmanuel) Macron. The economically strongest country in Europe cannot show itself as a political dwarf,” he said.

Kauder was referring to Macron’s call for fiscal reforms to strengthen the euro zone and spoke of him as a rising power within Europe.

Germany is facing the worst political crisis of its modern history after Merkel’s efforts to forge a three-way coalition with the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) and Greens collapsed last weekend, raising fears across Europe of a prolonged leadership vacuum in the continent’s economic powerhouse.

Germany, the world’s fourth largest economy, has long been a bastion of stability in the EU, and officials in Brussels and Paris fear months of political uncertainty could harm plans to reform euro zone governance and EU defence and asylum policies.

Merkel, who remains acting chancellor until a government is agreed, has said she would prefer to work with the SPD, but if that option fails, she would favour new elections over an unstable minority government.

Another election would also provide no speedy resolution of the crisis. Under Germany’s constitition, the president could call another election only after Merkel had lost several votes in the Bundestag – a process that could take several months.

The SPD has governed in coalition under Merkel since 2013 but said it wanted to go into opposition after suffering its worst result of the postwar period in the Sept. 24 election.

The news comes as a survey revealed the majority of Germans did not want Merkel to run as a candidate for Chancellor again.

While Mrs Merkel said yesterday she wanted to stand again in any new snap election the German people appear to be turned off by the prospect.

Of those polled, 54 per cent said she should not run for office, according to the polling institute Civey for t-online.de.

Only 38.5 percent of Germans would welcome a renewed candidacy of the chancellor.

Speaking to ZDF television on Thursday, SPD deputy leader Karl Lauterbach said his party might have to rethink its opposition to another “grand coalition”, but added he was still sceptical about joining one led by Merkel.

SPD lawmaker Johannes Kahrs, spokesman for a conservative wing in the party, urged Schulz to keep an open mind in his talks with the president.

“One should not rule anything out, and at the end it’s all about policy,” Kahrs told ntv television.

The SPD supports Macron’s proposal to create a fiscal capacity in the euro zone to protect members of the single currency bloc against external shocks.

If the SPD changes tack about a “grand coalition”, however, the leader of Merkel’s sister Bavarian party, the Christian Social Union (CSU) said on Thursday it should not expect the conservatives to grant any significant concessions.

“We can’t be blackmailed,” said Horst Seehofer, who faces a decision later on Thursday on whether he remains as CSU leader.

“We have a tight cooperation between (Merkel’s) Christian Democatic Union and the CSU. We have clear positions on substance that cannot be reversed,” Seehofer told reporters.


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