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

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

Manuela Schwesig: leading the SPD fight-back in the east

Manuela Schwesig, SPD Minister President of the east German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern,  who is charged with spearheading  the mammoth task of reversing the SPD’s collapse in the east of the country, is like Franziska Giffey, one of the SPD’s ‘hope-bearers.' Foto: Thomas Fries / Lizenz: cc-by-sa-3.0 de Following the resignation of leader Andrea Nahes in June 2019, Schwesig was … Continue reading Manuela Schwesig: leading the SPD fight-back in the east

Franziska Giffey: SPD hope-bearer

Franziska Giffey, the coalition government's SPD Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, has risen through the party ranks quickly and is now not only being talked of as the next Mayor of Berlin, but also as a possible SPD Chancellor candidate one day. As the newspaper taz wrote, "Giffey's almost meteoric rise … Continue reading Franziska Giffey: SPD hope-bearer

News Digest 24th July

EU Summit https://twitter.com/dw_politics/status/1285512073674469381 The first EU summit of Germany's Presidency was a tough five day affair - the second longest summit ever. The EU countries met to agree the budget for the next seven years: the planned corona recovery program of 750 billion euros was to be added to the budget, taking the figure to … Continue reading News Digest 24th July

Olaf Scholz: rejected by SPD members but surging ahead in the corona crisis

In a surprise result in December 2019, Finance Minister and Vice Chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz, was defeated in his bid to become SPD leader by two little-known left wingers, Saskia Esken and Norbert Walter-Borjans.  Scholz had been tipped to win the leadership with his running partner Klara Geywitz. https://twitter.com/OlafScholz/status/1242750132304719872 The leadership defeat was reported … Continue reading Olaf Scholz: rejected by SPD members but surging ahead in the corona crisis

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

News Digest 13th March

Corona virus Concern about the virus accelerated this week, with the government moving into the delay phase of response. On the same day that WHO declared a worldwide pandemic, Chancellor Merkel announced that 60%-70% of the German population could get the virus. By Friday, the number of confirmed cases had hit 3,000, with thousands more … Continue reading News Digest 13th March

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

News Digest 6th March

Corona virus On Monday, it was confirmed that 10 of Germany's 16 states now had cases of the virus, totalling around 130 in all. Some large public gatherings, including international trade fairs, were cancelled or delayed, as were some flights. People started to stock up on longlife foods and other products such as toilet paper, … Continue reading News Digest 6th March

News Digest 28th February

Hamburg election Some rare good news for the SPD came on Sunday, as the party won the election in Hamburg with 39.2%. The Greens came second with 24.2% and the CDU vote sank by nearly 5% to 11.2%. Early indications were that the AfD would fail to pass the 5% minimum to be elected to … Continue reading News Digest 28th February

Can the new SPD leadership reverse the party’s decline?

At the end of 2019,  following the departure of its first ever female leader, Andrea Nahles, the SPD elected a new leadership duo.  In a surprise result, little known left-wingers Saskia Esken and Norbert Walter-Borjans defeated  the favourites, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and his running-partner Klara Geywitz by 53% to 45%. The election of Esken … Continue reading Can the new SPD leadership reverse the party’s decline?