Tag Archives: Angela Merkel

Migration Hangs Over German Elections

BERLIN — Germans in three states are voting on Sunday in regional elections widely viewed as a test of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s welcoming policy toward refugees, amid growing discontent that has helped strengthen an upstart far-right party campaigning on an anti-immigrant platform.

 Winfried Kretschmann, the incumbent governor of the German state of Baden-Württemberg, spoke to the media outside a polling station in Sigmaringen on Sunday. Credit Michaela Rehle/Reuters

Winfried Kretschmann, the incumbent governor of the German state of Baden-Württemberg, spoke to the media outside a polling station in Sigmaringen on Sunday. Credit Michaela Rehle/Reuters

Ms. Merkel, in power since 2005 and for years considered the European Union’s de facto leader, spent much of the past few weeks in town halls and community centers across the states — Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate in the west, and Saxony-Anhalt in the east — backing local candidates for her conservative Christian Democratic Union.

Polls heading into the vote have indicated that the chancellor’s conservatives could struggle to maintain their control of the government in Saxony-Anhalt, and have difficulty ousting the governors of the two western states.

The biggest threat to Ms. Merkel’s party in Saxony-Anhalt is the Alternative for Germany, a protest party founded in 2013 in response to disillusionment with traditional parties’ handling of the sovereign debt crisis. The Alternative for Germany has since transformed into an anti-immigrant party, whose leader has said border guards might turn guns on anyone entering the country illegally.

Although all of the traditional parties have refused to even consider forming a government with the Alternative for Germany, the party was polling as high as 19 percent in Saxony-Anhalt and is expected to upset the traditional balance of coalition-building partners.

The Alternative for Germany is also poised to enter into the legislatures of both of the western states, a development that would raise its presence at the regional level to representation in half of the country’s 16 states.

In Baden-Württemberg, controlled for decades by Ms. Merkel’s center-right party, polls have indicated that voters are likely to seek consistency by supporting the left-leaning Greens, whose incumbent governor, Winfried Kretschmann, was swept into power five years ago over worries about nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster in Japan.

In Rhineland-Palatinate, the chancellor’s party is in a neck-and-neck race with its partners in the national government, the center-left Social Democrats, who appear poised for significant losses in the other two states

Such splintering of loyalties in a political system steeped in longstanding party alliances reflects the level of uncertainty many Germans feel as their country adjusts to accommodating and integrating several hundred thousand of the more than one million migrants who arrived last year seeking refuge from wars, or simply a better life.

Ms. Merkel’s open-door statements have also created rifts within Europe, where many traditional allies felt overrun by what they viewed as a one-sided decision. She struggled at a summit meeting in Brussels last week to galvanize support for a deal with Turkey aimed at preventing migrants from reaching the European Union’s outer borders.

That deal is to be sealed at an upcoming meeting on Thursday and Friday, and a poor showing in the elections at home risks leaving Ms. Merkel weakened heading into those negotiations.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/14/world/europe/germany-elections.html?_r=0

AFP media have chosen Angela Merkel as the most influential figure of 2015

AFP media have chosen Angela Merkel as the most influential figure of 2015

Agence France-Presse journalists have chosen Angela Merkel as the most influential figure of 2015 after the German chancellor stamped her mark on the European migrant and Greek financial crises. The vote by editorial staff from all services and languages across … read more

Refugee Crisis in German, Angela Merkel will leave her post before 2017.

AFP media have chosen Angela Merkel as the most influential figure of 2015

There are assumptions that German Chancellor Angela Merkel will have to leave her post before the next elections in 2017 because the discontent over the current refugee crisis among German residents is growing, journalist Gideon Rachman wrote. © AP Photo/ … read more

Pope Francis and Angela Merkel are among the favourites to receive the Nobel Peace Prize

Pope Francis set up a special commission of experts to review annulments last year Pope Francis and Angela Merkel are among the favourites to receive the Nobel Peace Prize when it is announced in Norway on Friday morning. The Pope’s … read more

Peaceful end to Ukraine crisis clouded with doubt

Feb. 7, 2015: German Chancellor Angela Merkel gestures during her speech at the 51. Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany. (AP) Diplomacy aimed to end the crisis in Ukraine may not succeed, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Saturday, a day after … read more

Germany`s Merkel says wants to find “path to peace” for Ukraine crisis

The German leader landed in Kiev and was scheduled to meet Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk. KIEV, (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel flew in to the Ukrainian capital on Saturday and said she wanted to … read more

Merkel blasts U.S. spying, hopes Washington will change tack

Angela Merkel said on Saturday that new allegations of U.S. spying showed Berlin and Washington were completely at odds over how they viewed the role of intelligence, and she hoped German action would persuade the United States not to spy … read more

Germany investigating 2nd USA spy suspect.

German authorities are investigating a second spy case reportedly involving the U.S., a week after the arrest of a German intelligence employee cast a new shadow over relations between the two countries. Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that police raided properties … read more

Putin: Ceasefire needed for Ukraine talks

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday an immediate ceasefire in eastern Ukraine is necessary to create conditions for talks. Speaking to reporters in Normandy in remarks televised live on Russian television, Putin said he expects Ukrainian president-elect Petro Poroshenko to … read more