Over four months have gone by since the last Hunnish election. At last, Hunland has a government. It will be another grand coalition. Despite having earlier misgivings, the Swamp Beast former EU “Parliament” President, Marty What’s-it caved in after extracting key cabinet positions. The Social Democrats will get the foreign ministry and finance. Merkel will be re-elected Chancellor by the Bundestag next week and will will go on as normal. Or it won’t… Despite being a grand coalition, this time there are far fewer seats. After all, both parties saw a marked decline in support. On all three sides of the coalition there are grave misgivings.
Merkel had to contend with a number of disloyal MPs in her CDU. This has been made more pronounced since her party’s Bavarian sister party, the CSU, is far bolder as it faces an existential crisis due to Merkel’s follies. The SPD is no calmer. The youth faction rejected the grand coalition, although the party as a whole solidly accepted it and the remaining leftist MPs are not exactly chuffed to bits. Like Labour-left in Britain, they desired a “return to tradition”. Since the election, support for the SPD has declined further. According to some polls, they would be the third party if an election were held today.
We can’t expect much but a dreary, dull and tired government in Germany. It has no sense of purpose, no energy and no drive. It exists only because neither party wished to face another election. The leftist die Linke are not about to give Marty What’s-it a pass. The Free Democrats are politely critical of Merkel and the AfD, now the official opposition, are making full use of their platform. Contrary to media opinion, the AfD have made good use of their new position and are quickly becoming a political force to be reckoned with. If anything, they’re gaining more support as someone is finally asking hard questions and demanding proper answers. This is a fragile government that might well not survive until 2021. It lacks the unity and spirit to survive a series of crises. If Italy’s recent election proves anything, it’s that Europe is nowhere near out of the woods.
4 thoughts on “It’s Not Over”
I’m intrigued to watch the Italian populists challenging the EU and the euro – if, that is, a government emerges from the bun-fight. I’m delighted that the vicious, vindictive EUroprats may have to consider their own future if a second major member-state decides to secede.
Janus: They backed down on the euro, but not on the terms of membership or how the EU is run. What is more likely is that they’re going to be far more recalcitrant than Renzi or Gentiloni were and distract the EU. The Italians have also been pushing for a good deal for Britain, something which the Lega and M5S are even more adamant about as neither is as wedded to the EU as the PD. The UK’s departure will be difficult for the EU, but it’s not something that was beyond the realm of expectation, either. The UK was always seen not to be on the outer tiers of “Europe”, but practically in a galaxy of its own. If Denmark, Sweden or the Czech Republic voted to leave, it wouldn’t be pleasant but it would still be manageable. If the Italians and Dutch called time on the EU, then it would be serious. Both are “founding members” and have always been at the centre of “Europe”. Even if they fall short of leaving, terminating the status quo would be an existential challenge.
I like the name Sigmar Gabriel’s little daughter gives to Marti…whatsit – the man with hair on his face.
Sheona: Te he he. Gabriel wasn’t the best party leader, but he has been a very capable foreign minister. Marty What’s-it has done even worse as party leader, whatever his pretensions to the contrary. He was a terrible EUroprat and has done far worse in Berlin. 28 March 2019 can’t come soon enough!