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Is the end of the Merkel era within sight?

Now that the liberal FDP has pulled the plug from the German government negotiations, there is plenty of speculation about the future of Angela Merkel

By: N. Peter Kramer - Posted: Tuesday, November 21, 2017

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 In my opinion Merkel is being written off too quickly by these journalists. The negotiations simply didn’t last long enough to kickstart new elections. It is very un-German and un-Merkel to return so quickly to the voters.
In my opinion Merkel is being written off too quickly by these journalists. The negotiations simply didn’t last long enough to kickstart new elections. It is very un-German and un-Merkel to return so quickly to the voters.

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by N. Peter Kramer

Can she save her life by launching another coalition than the one that failed, or is her political era coming to an end? Merkel spoke on Monday morning about a 'historic day'. And because it is not her habit to use big words, her statement has been interpreted as a possible indication that she ‘has had enough’ of politics. Although, Merkel also said that she still wants to 'take responsibility for her country'. 
 
The idea that the Merkel era may come to an end abruptly, has been the subject of debate. In two prominent quality newspapers - the Frankfürter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) and Die Zeit – articles were published by opinion leaders which boasted about Merkel's farewell. 

The article in the FAZ especially aroused the necessary commotion. Under the heading 'Merkel, a retrospective', the renowned social economist Wolfgang Streeck wrote a kind of Merkel political in memoriam. "Finally, Germany can awaken from its post-democratic narcosis," he wrote. It is surprising, that the FAZ which Merkel has always defended, opened its columns so quickly to this point of view. 

In Die Zeit it is Streeck’ s colleague Heinz Bude, who predicts Merkel's end. He is a little bit friendlier to her, but he also concludes that the Merkel era is over. 'In any case, there is an end to a way of doing politics this way,' says Bude. 'The time that all political contradictions were pragmatically flattened is a thing of the past.' 
 
In my opinion Merkel is being written off too quickly by these journalists. The negotiations simply didn’t last long enough to kickstart new elections. It is very un-German and un-Merkel to return so quickly to the voters. The four parties will just sit around the table again in a few days and the liberal FDP can bring in extra wishes. 

New elections would most probably be in favour of the right-wing party Alternative fűr Deutschland (AfD), already the third party with 94 seats in the Bundestag since the last elections. Who would wish to be responsible for that…  

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