Germany: Beginning of the End of the Merkel Era?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (left) suffered a major blow on September 4 when the anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany, led by Frauke Petry (right), surged ahead of her Christian Democratic Union in elections in her home state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania.

 

  • The anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD) surged ahead of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in elections in her home state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania.
  • The election was widely seen as a referendum on Merkel’s open-door migration policy and her decision to allow more than one million migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East to enter Germany in 2015.
  • Merkel rejected any course correction on migration policy: “I am very unsatisfied with the outcome of the election. Obviously it has something to do with the refugee question. I think the decisions that were made were correct.” She went on to blame German voters for failing to appreciate her government’s “problem-solving abilities”
  • Many of the AfD’s positions were once held, but later abandoned, by the Merkel’s CDU.
  • A September 1 poll showed Merkel’s popularity rating has plunged to 45%, a five-year low. More than half (51%) of those surveyed said it would “not be good” if Merkel ran for another term in 2017.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel suffered a major blow on September 4 when the anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD) surged ahead of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in elections in her home state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania.

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European Values (II)

BERLIN/WARSAW (Own report) – Whereas Berlin is attacking the Polish government because of its media law; massive criticism is being raised against the German public broadcasting. While German politicians are calling for sanctions to be imposed on Poland, because it is placing its public media under government supervision, a right-wing conservative former CDU minister has become Chair of an influential panel of Germany’s ARD public television channel. Observers note that, even after the Federal Constitutional Court’s intervention, state officials or individuals with close government ties exercise significant influence on the public broadcasting steering committees. Due to their structural relationship to the state, on the one hand, and the programs’ political orientation toward government policy, on the other, one could speak of “embedded journalism” in Germany, a former correspondent of the ZDF public television concluded a few years ago. The journalist went to work for the Swiss Television, because it does not have “a NATO state’s obligatory alignment.” The German public television’s foreign news reporting is even increasingly being accused of using falsifications.

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