SPD Chancellor candidate Scholz: reactions in Germany

In a surprise move this week, Germany's Social Democratic Party, the SPD, got well ahead of the game by announcing that Finance Minister Olaf Scholz will be the party's Chancellor candidate in next year's election. Although there has long been speculation about Scholz's nomination, the choice of candidate has been fiercely disputed in the party. … Continue reading SPD Chancellor candidate Scholz: reactions in Germany

30 years after reunification: are the east and west growing apart?

This October will see the 30th anniversary of German reunification. Three decades after the eastern states joined the Federal Republic, a majority of Germans agree that reunification has been positive. Yet differences between the 'old' west German states and the 'new' east German states persist - not only do gaps in income and living standards … Continue reading 30 years after reunification: are the east and west growing apart?

Germany’s right-extremism problem

In mid May, a new Cabinet Committee met in Berlin: the committee against right-wing extremism and racism. The aim of the committee is to "develop an effective package of measures that will work in the long term to create a society free of right-wing extremism and racism.....in accordance with the values of the constitution." The … Continue reading Germany’s right-extremism problem

Could Covid-19 halt the AfD’s rise?

The far-right populists, the Alternative for Germany  (AfD), have  been left floundering  during the Corona crisis.   Wrong-footed by the coalition government’s deft handling of the crisis, which has won widespread approval in Germany, the AfD has failed to articulate any coherent response and failed to exploit its usual scapegoats to capitalise on the situation. … Continue reading Could Covid-19 halt the AfD’s rise?

Corona crisis: political winners and losers

CDU/CSU Union After plummeting to a historic low of 26%  before the corona crisis, the conservative CDU/CSU Union is currently polling on at least 34% (and as high as 38% in one poll) in an extraordinary turnaround. The government’s handling of the crisis is widely supported, with 72% approving. This is true of supporters of … Continue reading Corona crisis: political winners and losers

Scholz unpacks his € 1.2 trillion bazooka and consigns the black zero to history

The spread of the corona virus is bringing the German economy to a standstill and forcing the government to abandon the long-held ‘black zero’ - the balanced budget policy. Over € 150 billion of borrowing is planned to help the country get through the crisis. The situation looks bleak. Forecasters indicate that a recession can … Continue reading Scholz unpacks his € 1.2 trillion bazooka and consigns the black zero to history

Fragmentation of the political landscape: the decline of the giants

Germany's political landscape is fragmenting. The country's two former giants - the conservative CDU/CSU Union and the social democratic SPD - are in decline. The Volksparteien - people's parties - once represented the vast majority of voters in Germany, sometimes winning over 40% of the vote each in federal elections; according to the latest polls, … Continue reading Fragmentation of the political landscape: the decline of the giants

Thuringia – a breakdown in the political system?

At the end of October 2019, voters in the east German state of Thuringia went to the polls to elect the new state government.  Three months later, politicians  reached an agreement on who was to be in the ruling coalition.  The agreement - a minority coalition composed of the Left Party, SPD and Green Party … Continue reading Thuringia – a breakdown in the political system?