The Germans can look forward to many more years more of economic pain and decline, and unchecked Muslim immigration, as Angela Merkel has finally managed to form a new governing coalition with the socialists.
While her party took a beating, realistically, she is the only game in town for Germany’s political establishment who are desperate to protect their grasp on political power from challengers like Germany’s AfD. I find it very unlikely she will behave as though she is weakened and instead go full speed ahead on immigration:
Merkel’s conservatives – her Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) allies – and the SPD are both still bruised after suffering from the rise of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) in last year’s election.
Merkel has shared power with the SPD in two of her previous three terms in office, from 2005-2009, and from 2013 until now. The SPD said on Sunday its members had voted by a two-thirds majority in favor of a coalition deal struck last month.
But the two blocs’ weak performances in last September’s election, when they both suffered their worst results since Germany became a republic in 1949, mean the latest incarnation of their awkward alliance promises to be the most fractious yet.
The SPD initially vowed to rebuild in opposition, only agreeing to talks on a return to its loveless marriage with Merkel after her negotiations with two smaller parties collapsed in November, plunging Germany into political uncertainty.
To stop the SPD from bolting, Merkel must deliver on those points in the coalition deal that are most dear to the Social Democrats: healthcare reform, and investment in education to meet the challenges of the digital age.
Like French President Emmanuel Macron, who is pushing for“a Europe that protects”, the SPD wants to promote economic stability and social convergence through the European project.