Parliamentary Digest 2nd October: Budget week and 30 years of German unity

This week was the budget debate week, with 4 days of debate in the Bundestag. Saturday was also the 30th anniversary of German reunification. Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) introduced the budget for 2021 on Tuesday and there was a general debate. This was followed by debates by department over the next three days, as … Continue reading Parliamentary Digest 2nd October: Budget week and 30 years of German unity

News Digest 11th September

Brexit and the spätimperialistischer Oxfordschnösel Johnson As the prospect of a no-deal Brexit draws nearer, German media outlets have focused on Boris Johnson's threats and negotiating tactics. The Süddeutsche Zeitung commented that, "Basically, the more Johnson is under pressure, the more intense the attacks on Brussels. The attacks are usually brought by newspapers which are … Continue reading News Digest 11th September

News Digest 4th September

Right-extremists and the limits of free societies On Saturday, an estimated 38,000 people, including those protesting the corona restrictions, anti-vaxxers, Putin supporters, the far left and members of extreme right groups, such as the anti-state Reichsbürger and neo-Nazis, demonstrated in Berlin. The demonstration was organised by "Querdenken 711" (Lateral Thinking 711). Speakers included the nephew … Continue reading News Digest 4th September

Political parties in the Bundestag

The 2017 election saw a drop in support for the government coalition partners, the CDU/CSU Union (minus 65 seats) and the SPD (minus 40), while the far-right populists, the Alternative for Germany, entered the Bundestag for the first time with 94 seats. The FDP, which had failed to meet the 5% hurdle in 2013, re-entered … Continue reading Political parties in the Bundestag

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?

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