Nel Regno Unito i laburiti sono quotati attorno al 14% ed i conservatori attorno all’8%. I Francia Mrs Le Pen supera Mr Macron ed il Les Républicains viaggiano di poco sopra il 12%. I dati tedeschi sono quello che sono. Per l’Italia nessuno ne sa nulla: certo che la Lega al 37% dovrebbe dare mal di testa a molti.
Ciò che a molti apparirebbe incomprensibile è il fatto gli identitari sovranisti hanno alterato gli equilibri, concorrendo al disfacimento dei partiti tradizionali. Ben magro risultato sarebbe stato vincere le elezioni lasciando integro il potere politico dei partiti tradizionali, che avrebbero avuto così la possibilità di pianificare una riscossa.
Si dovrebbe prendere atto sia della parcellizzazione politica, ove una congerie di partiti hanno virtualmente eguale peso politico. Al momento almeno sembrerebbe che non siano visibili all’orizzonte nuovi partiti egemoni, né, tanto meno, figure politiche carismatiche.
La situazione tedesca è da psicodramma.
Cdu ed Spd sono pugili suonati messi alle corde, nella sola attesa di gettare la spugna.
Adesso il fatto nuovo, per quanto prevedibile.
«But the Greens, which are on the rise, could pay dearly for such an alliance and would rather be interested in triggering a new round of elections.»
Già. Ma se è vero che i Grüne stanno raccogliendo consensi nella Germania dell’ovest, in quella dell’est sono ancora relegati a percentuali ad una cifra. Lì AfD sta andando molto bene.
I soliti malignassi stanno persino parlando di una scissione: ma stare a sentire i maligni è cosa davvero non bella.
* * *
L’aspetto simpatico di come stanno evolvendo le cose è che crisi di codesto tipo richiedono usualmente tempi lunghi per essere, se non risolte, almeno rattoppate.
Ma intanto l’Austria deve andare ad elezioni anticipate, nulla è dato di sapersi sulla Brexit ed a Bruxelles regna una confusione sovrana.
Mr Junker e Mr Tusk si aggirano come fantasmi tra le rovine dei palazzi, come l’uomo nelle rovine della cancelleria.
The continued existence of Germany’s Grand Coalition, aka GroKo, remains in doubt after the resignation of Andrea Nahles as head of the Social Democratic Party (SPD).
Nahles, 48, is Germany’s minister of labour and author of the country’s minimum wage law in Germany. Along with Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, Nahles was one of the few advocates of the GroKo, the alliance of Chrisitan Democrats and Social Democrats, after the party suffered its worst-ever returns in last month’s European elections where it received just 15.8% of the vote. the alliance could now collapse like a house of cards.
Nahles abruptly announced her resignation at the weekend, mentioning a “lack of necessary support” for the party. She added that responsibility for the debacle ultimately rests with Chancellor Angela Merkel, but also blamed the government for losing the support of its core voters.
The SPD will now need some time to recover and the party leadership will be determined on an interim basis by a troika composed of the ministers-presidents of Mecklenburg and Rhineland-Palatinate, Manuela Schwesig and Malu Dreyer, and the leader of the party in Hesse, Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel.
Bitterness is equally strong among CDU supporters, even if their electoral loss was less pronounced, having won 28.9% of the vote, The result was, however, also the worst in the party’s history.
“We will continue the work in the Great Coalition with great seriousness and a great sense of responsibility,” Merkel said on 2 June.
The CDU could still consider an alliance with the Greens and Liberals if the SPD decided to withdraw. But the Greens, which are on the rise, could pay dearly for such an alliance and would rather be interested in triggering a new round of elections.
«Three senior members of Germany’s embattled Social Democratic Party (SPD) are set to take over on an interim basis after its leader quit»
«Three caretaker leaders are set to take over until Ms Nahles’ successor is elected: Manuela Schwesig is state premier in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Malu Dreyer is premier in Rhineland-Palatinate and Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel is party leader in the Hesse»
«Ms Nahles’ long-term replacement is yet to be determined, leaving Mrs Merkel’s “grand coalition” hanging in the balance until a decision is made»
«Ms Nahles became SPD leader in April 2018, replacing Martin Schulz who had also resigned because of poor electoral performance»
«Ms Nahles became SPD leader in April 2018, replacing Martin Schulz who had also resigned because of poor electoral performance»
«The poor result has caused disquiet in the party, whose left-wing members have criticised Ms Nahles for remaining in the coalition»
«Now pressure is growing on the SPD to quit the coalition and bring down the government, in the hope that fresh elections would help them ditch the conservatives and build a left-wing coalition»
«The only parties that would benefit from more struggles for power within Germany’s two big parties would be the Greens and the far-right AfD»
«Polls suggest the SDP may suffer losses in those elections. In a Forsa survey, the SPD dropped by five percentage points to 12%, its lowest-ever score on a national level»
«A new leader was due to be elected at the party’s conference in December»
* * * * * * *
La caduta di Mrs Nahles non è avvenuta per una congiura di palazzo, bensì per implosione del sistema socialdemocratico.
La Spd si è ridotta ad un partito incapace di comprendere cosa stia succedendo nella realtà mondiale e tedesca, e di conseguenza è incapace di formulare un programma politico credibile. Gli iscritti al partito, tranne rare eccezioni, sono canuti vegliardi: non rappresentano in nulla l’Elettorato. Consultarli e seguirne i suggerimenti è modo infallibile per andare al disastro completo.
La sua dirigenza è sclerotica, abbarbicata ai concetti passati in applicazione dei quali la Spd si sta estinguendo.
Non solo. La sua base elettorale è formata per il 44% da ultrasessantenni, pensionati, più assueti ai problemi di cateteri e pannoloni che con quelle delle sfide industriali e politiche odierne. Solo il 21% dell’elettorato è sotto i trentaquattro anni, con una perdita in tale fascia di età di ben 21 punti percentuali.
A ciò i aggiunga una martellante propaganda per lgbt e clima.
Per i vegliardi le trasgressioni sessuali sono messe dette, ed il ‘clima’ è una chimera dati i costi imponenti.
Nulla da stupirsi che un ragazzino, con un messaggio youtube visto quindici milioni di ascoltatori, un certo Herr Rezo, abbia incitato a non votare Cdu oppure Spd, che nulla hanno fatto per il ‘clima’.
Superati a sinistra, avrebbe detto il Divo Giulio.
Ci si rassegni: la Spd non rappresenta più nulla.
In realtà, restano tutte le società che fanno capo alla Spd e che vivono di finanziamenti pubblici. Il problema è come spartirsi il malloppo.
* * * * * * *
Ci si metta l’anima in pace: l’ultima frase pianta chiodi sul coperchio della bara.
«A new leader was due to be elected
at the party’s conference in December»
Di qui a dicembre passa un’era. Sarà ben difficile che l’Unione Europea aspetti che l’Spd smetta di avere il mal di pancia
Three caretaker leaders are set to take over until Ms Nahles’ successor is elected: Manuela Schwesig is state premier in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Malu Dreyer is premier in Rhineland-Palatinate and Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel is party leader in the Hesse.
Germany’s DPA news agency says the temporary joint leadership has been proposed to the party’s executive board, which met in Berlin on Monday.
Ms Nahles’ long-term replacement is yet to be determined, leaving Mrs Merkel’s “grand coalition” hanging in the balance until a decision is made.
Rolf Mützenich, who currently serves as deputy chairman of the SPD, was proposed as interim head of the party’s parliamentary group, the agency added.
The Social Democrats came third, behind Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and the Greens, in the 26 May elections.
The poor result has caused disquiet in the party, whose left-wing members have criticised Ms Nahles for remaining in the coalition.
Ms Nahles became SPD leader in April 2018, replacing Martin Schulz who had also resigned because of poor electoral performance. She had been expected to run for the position again and her resignation took analysts by surprise.
She said farewell to her party’s leadership at its Berlin HQ on Monday, thanking them “for the years of good co-operation” in a press conference afterwards.
The coalition between the CDU and the SPD is due to last until federal elections in 2021, but correspondents say Ms Nahles’s resignation could lead to the SPD leaving, triggering a snap poll.
Mrs Merkel herself plans to step down as chancellor in 2021, having already resigned as CDU leader at the end of last year.
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
No obvious choice
Analysis by BBC Berlin Correspondent Damien McGuinness
Many never wanted the SPD to be in government again in the first place.
Party left-wingers blame plummeting support on years of messy compromise with Angela Merkel’s conservatives.
Now pressure is growing on the SPD to quit the coalition and bring down the government, in the hope that fresh elections would help them ditch the conservatives and build a left-wing coalition.
The problem is new elections are unlikely to help. Current polls place the SPD in third place after the Greens. There is no leader-apparent ready to take over. And the party’s message on many big issues, from climate change to migration, remains unclear.
In 2017 it took six months of wrangling to form this government. That was followed by half a year of internal bickering that exasperated voters.
The only parties that would benefit from more struggles for power within Germany’s two big parties would be the Greens and the far-right AfD.
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
What next for the coalition?
Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) were also meeting to discuss the crisis as the junior partner in the coalition considered its next step.
CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told reporters that the party was willing to continue sharing power with the Social Democrats. “We want to do justice to the government mandate,” she said.
Several senior party figures in the Social Democrats, including Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Lower Saxony’s Prime Minister, Stephan Weil, have ruled themselves out of the leadership race.
Former SDP leader Thomas Oppermann said it could take “one, two months” to choose Ms Nahles’ replacement.
He said the political instability was “not a good overall situation” and warned his party against “waiting for further defeats”, alluding to the forthcoming elections in three East German states in September and October.
Polls suggest the SDP may suffer losses in those elections. In a Forsa survey, the SPD dropped by five percentage points to 12%, its lowest-ever score on a national level.
Ms Nahles said on Sunday she would stand down as SPD leader and as head of its parliamentary group.
“The discussions within the parliamentary faction and feedback from within the party have shown me that I no longer have the necessary support to carry out my duties,” she said in a a statement.
A new leader was due to be elected at the party’s conference in December. But party chiefs could bring that vote forward in light of Ms Nahles’ resignation.
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
What if the coalition falls?
If the SPD were to leave the coalition, the fall of the government would be likely to trigger fresh elections.
Olaf Scholz told Tagesspiegel newspaper he had ruled out entering another such coalition.
“Three grand coalitions in a row would not do democracy in Germany any good,” he said in the interview before Ms Nahles announced her resignation.
Germany’s troubled Social Democrats (SPD) on Monday was in talks to appoint three temporary leaders following the resignation of Andrea Nahles.
SPD party chiefs proposed three caretakers to jointly lead the party while it takes time to settle on a new chief: Manuela Schwesig and Malu Dreyer, the premiers of the states of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Rhineland-Palatinate respectively, and Thorsten Schaefer-Guembel, who leads the SPD in Hesse, Reuters said, citing party sources.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said the German government would carry on its work following the shock resignation from Nahles, a junior member of Merkel’s governing coalition, on Sunday amid a slump in the party’s popularity.
“What I want to say for the government is that we will continue with our work with all seriousness and with great responsibility,” Merkel said in a statement to the press.
The centre-left party fell to third place behind Merkel’s CDU bloc and the Greens in last month’s European Parliament elections.
Nahles said she would also resign as head of the party’s parliamentary group as she did not have the support to lead it.
She took over as leader in February 2018, as the SPD reluctantly extended their “grand coalition” with Merkel’s conservatives following a poor showing in the previous year’s German national election.
Nahles had been due to face a vote on her leadership position on Tuesday after her decision to stay in the coalition was criticised by the party’s left.
“The discussions within the parliamentary faction and feedback from within the party have shown me that I no longer have the necessary support to carry out my duties,” Nahles said in a statement.
What does this mean for Merkel’s coalition?
The “grand coalition” is due to rule until 2021 but Nahles’ resignation could trigger an early exit from the SPD — forcing Merkel to call snap elections to lead a minority government or seek an alliance with the Greens and liberal Free Democrats.
Trouble within the SPD comes at a time when the Chancellor’s CDU party faces its own problems.
Germany’s Greens overtook the conservatives to become the country’s most popular party, showed an opinion poll on Saturday.
The CDU’s party leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer called on the SPD to make sure Germany remains with a stable and functioning government.
“I am assuming that the SPD will make its personnel decisions quickly and that the grand coalition’s ability to act will not be impaired,” she said on Sunday.
However, not everyone is for extending the rule of the “grand coalition”.
Earlier, German vice-chancellor Olaf Scholz told Tagesspiegel that he had ruled out entering another grand coalition as the SPD seeks to regroup.
“I am very sure that it would not be justifiable for us to have a fifth grand coalition,” Scholz said in an interview published before Nahles’ announcement. “Three grand coalitions in a row would not do democracy in Germany any good.”
The ruling coalition is due for a midterm review in September, which could be an opportunity for the SPD to pull the plug on its alliance with the CDU.
Merkel, who handed the leadership of her Christian Democratic Union party to Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer in December, has said she wants to stay on as chancellor until her fourth term ends when Germany holds its next national election in late 2021.
«Angela Merkel parlerà dopo le dimissioni del capo della SPD»
«Queste dimissioni indeboliscono la coalizione di governo guidata dal Cancelliere, il cui partito è anch’esso in difficoltà»
«Le discussioni nel gruppo parlamentare e le numerose reazioni del partito mi hanno dimostrato che non ho più il sostegno di cui ho bisogno per svolgere i miei compiti»
«Le discussioni nel gruppo parlamentare e le numerose reazioni del partito mi hanno dimostrato che non ho più il sostegno di cui ho bisogno per svolgere i miei compiti»
«Nel campo SPD, si sta prendendo sempre più seriamente in considerazione la possibilità di lasciare l’alleanza di Angela Merkel con la CDU, con il rischio di condurre a elezioni anticipate ed alla caduta anticipata del Cancelliere, il cui mandato scade nel 2021.»
* * * * * * *
Staremo a sentire con grande attenzione la conferenza stampa di Frau Merkel, ma tanto i numeri sono quelli e le parole certo non li variano.
Ce départ fragilise la coalition gouvernementale dirigée par la chancelière, dont le parti est lui-même en difficulté. Avant elle, la dirigeante du CDU, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer a assuré que «la coalition n’était pas menacée».
Angela Merkel a convoqué la presse dimanche après-midi à la suite de la démission de la cheffe des sociaux-démocrates en réaction à la débâcle aux européennes, un départ qui fragilise encore la coalition gouvernementale dirigée par la chancelière, dont le parti est lui-même en difficulté.
Andrea Nahles cristallisait les critiques depuis le revers du SPD aux Européennes: largement devancé par des Verts à plus de 20%, le parti de centre-gauche n’a recueilli que 15% des votes, son plus bas niveau historique. «Les discussions au sein du groupe parlementaire et les nombreuses réactions du parti m’ont montré que je n’ai plus le soutien nécessaire à l’exercice de mes fonctions», a déclaré Mme Nahles dans un communiqué.
La coalition menacée
Le départ de Nahles, malmenée en interne depuis sa prise de fonction il y a un an par des frondeurs partisans d’une sortie de la coalition au pouvoir, pourrait donc accélérer, par effet domino, la décomposition du gouvernement. Inquiet, le Parti chrétien-démocrate (CDU) au pouvoir est à la manœuvre pour maintenir son partenaire junior dans son giron. La chancelière Angela Merkel s’exprimera «sur les derniers développements» politiques dimanche à 15h30 GMT au QG du parti à Berlin. La dirigeante du parti, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (surnommée «AKK»), a assuré que «la capacité d’action de la Grande Coalition n’est pas menacée» et que le CDU souhaite «continuer avec la grande coalition».
Dans le camp du SPD, on réfléchit de plus en plus sérieusement à quitter l’alliance formée avec la CDU d’Angela Merkel, au risque de provoquer des élections anticipées et un départ prématuré de la chancelière, dont le mandat s’achève en 2021. La coalition gouvernementale, la «GroKo» formée dans la douleur début 2018 avec un SPD récalcitrant et qui navigue depuis de crise en crise, semble donc plus menacée que jamais.
Du côté de la CDU, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer est aussi en difficulté depuis les élections européennes où les chrétiens-démocrates sont arrivés en tête, mais avec un score historiquement bas. AKK, qui a aussi multiplié les faux pas, s’aliénant notamment d’influents YouTubeurs, se retrouve contestée en interne, un an après avoir succédé à Angela Merkel à la tête du parti. CDU et SPD creusent leurs différences sur le fond depuis des mois, problème auquel s’ajoute leur incapacité à s’entendre sur un thème devenu stratégique: la lutte contre le changement climatique, un domaine où l’Allemagne est à la traîne et devenu cher aux électeurs, comme l’illustre le récent très bon score des Verts.
«Bitter für Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer: 70 Prozent der Deutschen spricht der CDU-Vorsitzenden die Eignung für die Kanzlerschaft ab.
Berlin. Keine guten Nachrichten für die CDU-Vorsitzende Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. Seit Tagen steht sie wegen ihrer Reaktion zum Rezo-Video in der Kritik. Das Ergebnis einer Umfrage ist jetzt ein weiterer Rückschlag: Eine große Mehrheit der Deutschen spricht Kramp-Karrenbauer nämlich die Eignung für die Kanzlerschaft ab.
70 Prozent halten sie derzeit nicht für die richtige Person für den Posten. Das ergab das vom Forsa-Institut per Umfrage unter rund 1500 Menschen ermittelte Trendbarometer für RTL/n-tv. Nur 19 Prozent halten sie für „fähig genug, das Kanzleramt zu übernehmen“»
‘La grande maggioranza dei tedeschi nega l’idoneità della Kramp-Karrenbauer alla cancelleria. Il 70 per cento attualmente non crede che sia la persona giusta per il posto di cancelliere’.
Prendiamo atto di quanto si sia addolcito il materno carattere di Mutti: in altri tempi la avrebbe fatta suicidare. Cos’, dopo la May e Kurz, adesso cade nel paniere la testa di Annegret.
While the transfer of power within the ruling CDU conservatives appears to have been well orchestrated, a new poll suggests few think Merkel’s heir apparent, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, is up to the job of chancellor.
The Forsa poll released on Wednesday showed 70% of respondents considered that Christian Democratic Union (CDU) leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was not suited to taking over as chancellor. Chancellor Angela Merkel should stay on until 2021 when her term ends, the poll found.
Even among her own CDU party, 52% considered Kramp-Karrenbauer, or AKK as she is often called, was not up to the chancellor’s job.
The poll among 1,501 people was carried out earlier this week, after the European election results, for broadcaster RTL.
Merkel also dismissed suggestions she was among those who did not think AKK was capable of being chancellor. She rejected as “nonsense” claims that Kramp-Karrenbauer had lost her support.
“I have never concerned myself intensely with rubbish in my many years of political engagement, which is why I’m not going to comment on this further,” Merkel said in Brussels on Tuesday.
Kramp-Karrenbauer on social media
Kramp-Karrenbauer has also come under fire for her comments about freedom of speech and regulations for social media ahead of elections.
Criticism of the 56-year-old politician stemmed from a critique of the CDU and its coalition partner the SPD on YouTube by 26-year-old Rezo, whose hourlong message was a call not to vote for the CDU or the Social Democrats, a junior party in Germany’s governing coalition government. The video has been watched more than 13 million times.
AKK responded to the video by calling for new rules to govern the online sphere and asking: “What would the reaction in this country have been had 70 newspapers, two days before the election, declared: … ‘Do not vote CDU and SPD’?” Kramp-Karrenbauer said after Sunday’s poll. “The question needs to be asked … what are the rules in the analog sphere, and which rules apply to the digital sphere?”
Online petition on censorship
Among the responses to AKK’s question was an online petition “No censorship of our freedom of expression Mrs. Kramp-Karrenbauer,” (Keine Zensur unserer Meinungsfreiheit, Frau Kramp-Karrenbauer!) which had been signed by 64,800 people by Wednesday afternoon.
While her party colleagues gathered to support her on Wednesday, there was an admission that the CDU had to improve its use of social media in order to state its political case. “Our resources in online communication are far too scarce for us to be able to get in touch with young people,” CDU Secretary General Paul Ziemiak said.
The CDU is holding a meeting at the weekend to discuss the outcome of the elections and, in particular, the loss of 1.2 million voters from the conservatives to the Greens, whose 49-year-old co-leader Robert Habeck is attracting attention as a possible future chancellor.
«Harvard hat der Kanzlerin die Ehrendoktorwürde verliehen und vor allem den Satz “Wir schaffen das” gewürdigt. In ihrer Rede beschwor sie den freien Welthandel.»
Il padrino regalava sempre un Rolex d’oro a quelli che aveva ordinato di uccidere.
«We have to take our destiny much more into our own hands in the future if we want to be strong»
A giudicare dai risultati elettorali ed economici Frau Merkel si sarà sicuramente presa in mano il suo destino, e con esso quello della Germania, ma sembrerebbe arduo vederne buoni risultati.
È antica costumanza diplomatica che quando un capo di stato vada in visita come tale in un altro stato sia ricevuto dal suo pari, e con tutti gli onori. Diverso è il caso di una visita privata, che però buon garbo suggerirebbe di notificare con un congruo lasso di tempo.
«Merkel visits Harvard Thursday but is skipping the White House»
«Merkel has faced a barrage of attacks since Trump took office — over German luxury cars, defense spending, Iran, Russian gas, and doing business with China’s Huawei Technologies Co. But it was the rupture after last June’s G-7 meeting that made up her mind: Trump is not a partner that Germany can rely on.»
«Almost 12 months on, the situation has only gotten worse. There’s a mix of anguish and frustration in Berlin and officials are asking themselves whether the relationship has already crossed the point of no return.»
«When the chancellor visits the U.S. Thursday, she’ll give a commencement speech at Harvard University, but she won’t bother visiting the White House as she has the past two years.»
«U.S. officials insist that Trump respects Merkel. But they also give a sense of the misunderstanding at the heart of their relationship.»
«U.S. officials insist that Trump respects Merkel. But they also give a sense of the misunderstanding at the heart of their relationship.»
* * * * * * *
Se il fatto non fosse una farsa, sarebbe da considerarlo una tragedia.
Il cuore del problema risiede nel fatto che le divergenze in essere tra due stati non dovrebbero mai debordare in un fatto personale tra i capi dei medesimi. Si possono avere esigenze e visioni divergenti, anche opposte, ma ciò non dovrebbe inficiare il rapporto umano. Tanto, alla fine, ci si deve pur sempre sedere attorno ad un tavolo e trattare: al massimo cambiano le persone. Tenere il broncio, farsi i dispettucci dovrebbe essere roba da donnicciole, da lavandaie ai trogoli, ed in questo Frau Merkel è un ottimo esempio.
A nostro personale ed ovviamente opinabile punto di vista, le rigidità in diplomazia gettano solo sabbia negli ingranaggi, rendendo sempre più difficile la possibilità di arrivare ad un accordo gradito ad ambo le parti.
A novembre l’attuale dirigenza dell’Unione Europea scadrà, lasciando il posto ad altre figure politiche.
Queste avranno sicuramente le proprie idee politiche ed economiche, ma sarebbe auspicabile che avessero un briciolino in più di arte diplomatica o, quanto meno, di buona educazione.
Consoliamoci con il fatto che Frau Merkel non è eterna, anche se lei se lo crede.
– Merkel visits Harvard Thursday but is skipping the White House
– Trump has hammered Merkel on trade, China, Nord Stream, cars
For Angela Merkel, the wakeup call came in the middle of the night.
The German chancellor was asleep in her government plane somewhere over the Atlantic in June last year when Donald Trump scuttled the fragile settlement she’d built with other Group of Seven leaders in Canada, according to a person familiar with the events.
Before turning in for the night, she’d been in a buoyant mood due to the concessions she secured from the U.S. president for a common statement on trade. When he went back on his word, she was stunned.
Merkel has faced a barrage of attacks since Trump took office — over German luxury cars, defense spending, Iran, Russian gas, and doing business with China’s Huawei Technologies Co. But it was the rupture after last June’s G-7 meeting that made up her mind: Trump is not a partner that Germany can rely on.
Almost 12 months on, the situation has only gotten worse. There’s a mix of anguish and frustration in Berlin and officials are asking themselves whether the relationship has already crossed the point of no return.
Even if Trump loses in 2020, they say the trust that underpinned the transatlantic friendship for seven decades may be gone for good. Germany has already started building new alliances that will safeguard its interests in a world where the U.S. won’t. And some of them are not to Washington’s liking.
“We have to take our destiny much more into our own hands in the future if we want to be strong,” Merkel told a political rally on Friday in Munich.
When the chancellor visits the U.S. Thursday, she’ll give a commencement speech at Harvard University, but she won’t bother visiting the White House as she has the past two years.
U.S. officials insist that Trump respects Merkel. But they also give a sense of the misunderstanding at the heart of their relationship.
Trump’s main beef with Merkel is Germany’s trade surplus, one senior administration official said. But the U.S. administration has little patience with the fact that Germany, like all other European Union members, has handed control of trade negotiations to Brussels. Trump argues that Germany should be able to use its leverage as Europe’s largest economy to sway the talks.
In private meetings, the president has implored Merkel to engage personally in trade talks, the official said. But the chancellor insists he has to speak to the European Commission.
The official insists there is no animosity, but nor is there any rapport.
“The president has his opinions, and I have mine,” Merkel said in an interview with CNN aired Tuesday. “Very often we also find common ground. If not, then we have to keep on talking and negotiating.”
It’s a far cry from Barack Obama, or even George W. Bush. She embraced Obama when he visited the chancellery in April and in 2007 she was delighted to visit Bush’s Texas ranch.
White House Tour
It’s not that Trump and Merkel haven’t tried.
On her second visit to the Trump White House in April 2018, the president gave Merkel a tour of the residence, including the Lincoln Bedroom, as he sought to impress her.
But Trump acts as if his charm offensives can work even when he’s attacking Germany on policy issues. For Merkel, it all adds up and the result is a president she can’t trust.
Weeks after that White House visit, he claimed, — falsely — that crime in Germany was “way up” because of Merkel’s immigration policy. A month later he labeled her a “captive of Russia” for planning a new gas link. In December, U.S. officials threatened to shut Germany out of shared intelligence networks if Huawei was allowed to supply equipment for the country’s fifth-generation data networks.
All this is part of a broader assault on the multilateral world order that has kept Germany safe and made it rich. As Trump steps up his attacks, Merkel’s warnings about the dangers that poses are growing darker.
After that last White House visit, the chancellor began to ruminate on the Thirty Years War which devastated Europe in the 17th century. Then, as now, Europe had enjoyed some 70 years of stability. And then, as now, leaders began to disregard the constraints that underpinned that peace.
“In one fell swoop, the whole order went in the trash,” Merkel said at a religious conference a few days after returning from Washington.
That’s increasingly how decision-makers in Germany view the transatlantic relationship. Even as they muddle through in areas where cooperation is possible, the toughest issues are getting tougher.
Trump’s policy of “maximum pressure” on Iran has left German officials struggling to hold together the accord that restricted the regime’s ability to produce weapons-grade uranium after the U.S. pulled out. German officials are bewildered at what they see as a lack of strategic direction.
With German businesses angry at being forced to bow to threats from the White House, one senior official said Iran could be the issue that triggers a broader rupture between the U.S. and Germany.
New Ties to Russia
As Trump turns the screws, he’s forcing Germany into the arms of rival powers like China and Russia, a move that serves in turn to deepen the frustration in Washington.
Perhaps the most significant example is the Nord Stream 2 pipeline which will pump 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany.
Officials in Merkel’s chancellery were taken aback in February at coordinated American diplomatic maneuvers to scuttle the project and now the U.S. is threatening sanctions against companies involved.
“We always have had powers that were trying to change the rules of the game,” Niels Annen, Germany’s deputy foreign minister, told a conference in Berlin this month. “What is new is the country that was really at the beginning, that was at the creation of that set of rules, is now trying to question this.”
At the center of the Trump diplomacy in Berlin is Ambassador Richard Grenell, a Trump loyalist and one-time Fox News contributor with a penchant for lighting political brush fires and a direct line to the president. Grenell’s sharp elbows might be a deliberate tactic for Trump, but at least in the short term, they damage his cause.
Trump has potential allies in Berlin who agree that Germany should raise defense spending and take a harder line on Russia. But Grenell’s scorched-earth approach is alienating the German public and making it difficult for them to offer him support, according to several officials.
“The way in which at least the American administration makes policy in general at the moment, with a lot of sanctions, with the fact that international agreements are scrapped, is not a good way to cooperate,” Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who replaced Merkel as leader of the governing Christian Democrats last year, told Bloomberg Television in Davos, Switzerland, in January.
And so Merkel is edging toward a world in which Germany no longer relies on the U.S. In November last year she raised the prospect of a European army. Merkel called Trump’s bluff over Huawei, refusing to ban the company from German networks. And the Russian gas pipeline is going ahead.
But it’s not a world that Merkel has sought and it’s not one that she welcomes.
When she realized it would fall to her to build it on that flight back from Quebec she was shocked. She avoided the reporters on her plane until they landed again in Berlin. Then she got straight into her car, and drove off.
«Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who is often referred to by the initials AKK, the leader of Germany’s ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU), is facing heavy criticism after proposing a debate on the regulation of political views on the internet during election campaigns.
The plan was broached on Monday following the party’s battering in the weekend’s European Parliament elections. The CDU and its CSU ally won 28% of the vote — a drop of seven percentage points from 2014.
Just days before the election, German YouTube star Rezo released a video in which he urged voters to punish the CDU and its coalition partner the Social Democrats (SPD) over climate inaction. The clip went viral and led to 70 other influential YouTubers reiterating his message in another video aimed at young voters.
“What would actually happen in this country if, say, 70 newspapers decided just two days before the election to make the joint appeal: ‘Please don’t vote for the CDU and SPD’?” Kramp-Karrenbauer, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s successor as CDU leader, said in Berlin. “That would have been a clear case of political bias before the election.”» [Deutsche Welle].
Il giovanotto scavalca a sinistra Cdu ed Spd, imputando loro di non aver fatto proprio nulla per il ‘clima‘: sarebbero quindi solo ‘ipocriti in cerca di voti‘: quindi, che non li si votino!
«In jedem Fall: Geht wählen am nächsten Wochenende. Sonst entscheiden Rentner über eure Zukunft»
In ogni caso: andate a votare il prossimo fine settimana. Altrimenti i pensionati decideranno del vostro futuro
«Ich hoffe inständig, dass Fr. Kramp-Karren gegen die wandfahrer in der CDU bleibt. … dann wäre die CDU in der nächsten Wahl weitere 10% los»
Spero sinceramente che Frau Kramp-Karrenbauer rimanga nella CDU. …. in tal caso la CDU perderebbe un altro 10% nelle prossime elezioni.
Con oltre tredici milioni di visualizzazioni questo video ha messo in luce ciò che realmente è e rappresenta Frau Merkel. Con un investimento di meno di mille euro i patrocinatori di codesto video hanno assestato a Frau Merkel ed alla Cdu un poderoso uppercut da ko.
La reazione di Frau Merkel è quella tipica delle femmine sterili nel cuore, nella mente e nell’utero.
– Chosen successor has repeatedly stumbled since taking over CDU
– New leader fails to boost party support as Merkel stays put
Angela Merkel has given up hope on her heir apparent and is hunkering down in office in the face of growing turmoil in Germany’s ruling party.
Merkel has decided that Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who took over as leader of the Christian Democratic Union in December, is not up to the country’s top job, according to two officials with knowledge of her thinking. As a result, the chancellor has become more determined than ever to stay in power until her term ends in 2021, the officials said.
In recent months AKK, as Kramp-Karrenbauer is known, slid in opinion polls, roiled the party with a failed effort to accelerate Merkel’s exit, and on Sunday oversaw the CDU’s worst ever result in a national election.
AKK’s failure to grasp the baton leaves Germany’s governing party flailing as the leadership prepares to meet June 2 and 3 to pore over the losses in the European Union election.
It’s likely to be an awkward encounter between the chancellor and her one-time protegee: AKK convened the session without warning Merkel and the officials say it was designed to put pressure on the chancellor to move aside. AKK has also alienated the chancellor by reaching out to her conservative enemies within the CDU.
No More Help
Merkel has resolved to spend no more political capital helping AKK, the officials said. But her ability to change the party’s direction is limited now that she has handed over control of the machinery. The chancellor is expecting to come under more pressure to step aside as AKK’s political problems mount, they added.
The direction of the party is completely open again, one official said, and what happens after 2021 is entirely uncertain.
With AKK’s chances of claiming the chancellorship fading, the contest to select the CDU’s candidate for 2021 becomes a re-run of last year’s succession battle. Merkel’s moderate faction thought they had won when AKK claimed the party leadership in December but the chancellor’s ability to influence that process will be much reduced second time around. That could open the door to the conservative Friedrich Merz or the liberal Armin Laschet.
AKK’s approval rating slipped three points to 36% in the latest poll by public broadcaster ARD released May 2. That’s the lowest since she became party leader and almost 20 points behind Merkel.
AKK was supposed to provide fresh leadership and an electoral bounce for the CDU after 18 years of Merkel’s leadership. Instead, support for the party and its Bavarian sister the CSU fell seven percentage points in the EU election to below 30%. Many voters defected to the Greens, which doubled their backing to more than 20%.
AKK has proved prone to stumbles.
An off-color joke about transsexuals at a local festival put moderates on alert. Her latest mistake came in the aftermath of Sunday’s election.
When a YouTube video attacking the CDU became a viral sensation, AKK accused the 70 web activists who endorsed the clip of wielding undue influence and was forced onto the defensive following a wave of criticism.
She tweeted on Monday that it was “absurd to accuse me of wanting to regulate statements of opinion.”
If nothing else, the episode highlighted the CDU’s desperate attempts to reach younger voters with its own forays into the digital realm. As of Tuesday, the video by a blue-haired moderator known as Rezo has been viewed more than 12 million times since it hit the web May 18.
Cerchiamo di riassumere, anche se al momento attuale non è ancora dato di conoscere l’esatta composizione dei gruppi parlamentari: non si sa, per esempio. quale collocazione vorrà dare Mr Orban a tutti i suoi europarlamentari.
Ricordiamo come sia il Consiglio Europeo a dover proporre il presidente della Commissione ed i relativi commissari: gli europarlamentari avranno il compito di esaminare le proposte e, nel caso, di approvarle.
Sicuramente si formeranno degli schieramenti, ma si tenga sempre presente che gli stati hanno il diritto di veto: opzione da usarsi con la massima prudenza, ma pur sempre possibile.
* * *
– Il partito popolare europeo scende dai 221 agli attuali 180 seggi: perde 41 seggi, -18.55%
– Il partito socialista europeo scende dai 191 seggi del 2014 agli attuali 145, perde 46 seggi, -24.08%.
– La sinistra – GUE/Ngl – scende dai 52 agli attuali 38 seggi: perde 14 seggi, -26.92%.
– Il blocco liberal senza l’Aldeppe e pse scende da 412 deputati agli attuali 325. prde quindi 87 seggi, -21.12%.
– In Francia il Rem, il partito del presidente Macron, ha conseguito il 22.41% dei voti, cui conseguono 21 seggi, mentre Rn, il partito della Mrs Le Pen, si è piazzato al 23.31%, conquistandosi 23 seggi.
– In Germania la Cdu è scesa dal 35% al 28.9%, e la Spd è crollata dal 27% al 15.8%.
– Gli europarlamentare inglesi di Mr Farage sembrerebbero poi essere non troppo propensi all’Unione Europea.
Punto della situazione.
– La passata coalizione ppe e pse ha perso i numeri per formare una maggioranza. Rimedierà cooptando l’Alde, ma la perdita di 87 seggi (-21.12%) è una sonora sconfitta, checché se ne voglia dire.
– Mr Macron in Francia e Frau Merkel in Germania, almeno fino a tanto che questa resterà cancelliere, sono anatre zoppe: deboli e screditati, quindi con voci che si odono flebilmente a Bruxelles.
– Se nessuna componente sia in grado di imporre il proprio candidato, pur tuttavia conserva forza sufficiente per porre il veto alle scelte altrui. Non ci si stupisca quindi se alla fine la Presidenza della Commissione sia offerta ad un outsider, per esempio Mrs Lagarde.
Vi sono poi i convitati di pietra.
In autunno dovrà essere rinnovato il Governatore Draghi, e con lui il suo entourage: non sarà battaglia da poco.
Poi, quasi invisibile sullo sfondo, c’è appollaiato Mr Trump. Sarebbe impensabile, data la situazione, che non si sentisse il suo parere. E come non sentire l’illuminato parere di Mr @@@@, capo cupola felicemente regnante? Non farlo sarebbe uno sgarro.
Ci si tolga dalla testa che sia una battaglia di ideali per il benessere ed il progresso del popolo, per un mondo ecologicamente pulito e che viva in pace.
Sono in ballo migliaia di miliardi: tutti vorrebbero la loro parte e lasciare gli altri a bocca asciutta sempre che non li ammazzino.
The German chancellor’s backing for the German MEP Manfred Weber, who leads the European People’s party of which her CDU party is a member, is facing tough resistance from the French president Emmanuel Macron in the post-election jockeying for top jobs.
The EU heads of state and government, including Theresa May, are due to meet on Tuesday night to kickstart their discussions over the leadership of the bloc’s institutions after a set of election results that weakened the grip of the traditional centrist parties on the levers of power in Brussels.
The European People’s party (EPP) remains the largest in the parliament, but during a disappointing night its haul of seats plummeted from 221 in 2014 to 180, prompting Weber to concede that the “centre is shrinking”.
The Socialists and Democrats group’s 191 seats five years ago fell to 145 despite surprisingly strong results in Spain and the Netherlands, where they topped the polls. ….»
«The proposals by France and Germany are on the table: Macron has made far-reaching proposals for the reform of the eurozone. The German government has made commitments in the coalition agreement, which also calls for a “departure for Europe.” Now it is about finding a reasonable and workable middle ground. This means, that a limited further development of the euro rescue fund ESM towards a European Monetary Fund is the key reform to come in the area of the economic and monetary union.
I think it is right that Berlin clearly defines the national interests – especially, the Christian Democrat faction. But it is also clear that in this phase we have to find consensus with France. When it comes to the planned European Monetary Fund: When a decision on new aid programs has to be taken, the veto of the German Bundestag must be preserved.»
«France and Germany on Monday clashed over the future leadership of the EU after European elections produced a fragmented parliament and triggered a race to secure the top jobs in the world’s largest trading bloc. Nationalist, liberal and green parties across the EU have gained seats at the expense of centrist parties, such as German chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party, which have dominated the parliament over the past four decades. President Emmanuel Macron’s liberal party on Monday called for “a European Commission president candidate who can build a robust majority way beyond the partisan lines” — suggesting it wanted an alternative to Manfred Weber, the Germany-backed candidate for the commission.»
«A pensar male si fa peccato, ma ci si azzecca quasi sempre»
Così diceva quell’uomo di grande esperienza umana che fu Giulio Andreotti. Forse, il termine ‘quasi‘ potrebbe essere considerato di troppo.
«Germany spent a record 23 billion euros ($25.65 billion) last year on helping to integrate more than one million refugees and fighting the root causes of migration abroad»
«That marks an increase of nearly 11 percent on the 20.8 billion euros that Germany spent in the previous year, the document prepared by the Finance Ministry showed»
«The government spent a total of 7.9 billion euros in 2018 on measures aimed at keeping migrants outside the European Union and improving living conditions in their home countries – a 16 percent increase compared with 20»
* * * * * * * *
Pensare male, constatare la realtà dei fatti: cose disdicevoli agli occhi degli ideologizzati.
Ideologizzati o cointeressati?
Se in questa Europa si potesse dire la verità senza essere poi condannati all’ostracismo, si dovrebbe ammettere che gli immigrati sono una delle più costose ‘risorse‘ della Germania.
Venti e passa miliardi ogni anno che Dio manda su questa povera terra. Venti miliardi cavati a forza dalle tasche dei Contribuenti.
Ma come sono spesi?
Il Signor Simplicio direbbe sommesso: ‘Per il progresso culturale e l’integrazione dei migranti‘.
Ma lo spirito di Giulio ci direbbe in un orecchio: ‘Per mantenere tutte le persone che riempiono gli organici delle organizzazioni governative e caritative che dovrebbero istruire ed integrare i migranti che sono in Germania migrati.’
Un esercito di quasi mezzo milione di persone che vivono e prendono lo stipendio per il solo fatto che ci sono i migranti.
Non ci fossero più, oppure quelli arrivati alla fine si integrassero, lo scopo del loro lavoro verrebbe meno e sarebbero licenziati. Orrore e raccapriccio!!
«Describing the circumstances as “extraordinary,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel rolled out the welcome mat to over a million migrants in 2015, at the height of the Syrian refugee crisis. Although arrivals have dropped sharply since then, the German government’s spending has not.»
Siamo chiari. I migranti sono un di più, alle volte anche noiosamente inopportuni.
«Although arrivals have dropped sharply since then,
the German government’s spending has not.»
Ciò che conta è mantenere l’esercito dei prebendari fedeli ossequiosi: votano tutti per Frau Merkel.
Germany spent a record 23 billion euros ($25.65 billion) last year on helping to integrate more than one million refugees and fighting the root causes of migration abroad, a government document seen by Reuters showed on Monday.
That marks an increase of nearly 11 percent on the 20.8 billion euros that Germany spent in the previous year, the document prepared by the Finance Ministry showed.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and her ministers will discuss the government’s annual report on refugee and integration costs during their regular cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
Merkel has repeatedly defended her 2015 decision to leave German borders open to hundreds of thousands of war refugees, mainly from Muslim countries, as a humanitarian necessity, but has since vowed to prevent a repeat of such mass migration by tackling its causes.
The government spent a total of 7.9 billion euros in 2018 on measures aimed at keeping migrants outside the European Union and improving living conditions in their home countries – a 16 percent increase compared with 2017.
Germany’s 16 states, which are mainly in charge of housing and integrating the arrivals from countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, received 7.5 billion euros from the federal government last year, according to the report. This marked an increase of 14 percent on the year.
Alice Weidel, parliamentary leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), criticized Merkel’s government for spending billions on refugees, saying: “This is a costly welcome party at the expense of citizens.”
Annette Widmann-Mauz, minister of state for migration, refugees and integration, said Weidel’s comments were “stupid” and in bad taste.
“Fighting the causes of migration, which makes up a large part of the total spending, is just as much in our interest as investing in successful integration,” Widmann-Mauz told Reuters.
“Whoever dismisses humanitarian protection as a party has understood nothing at all,” she added.
«Amo il tradimento, ma odio il traditore» (Giulio Cesare)
La Presidente del partito, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, ha convocato per il due giugno una riunione straordinaria della direzione della Cdu.
Verosimilmente, i convocati dovranno constatare l’ulteriore crollo elettorale del partito nonché una molto severa sconfitta dei loro alleati della Spd sia nelle elezioni europee sia a Brema. Se in Sassonia la Cdu è data in declino dal 39.4% al 28%, a Brema la Spd dovrebbe scendere dal 32.8% al 24.5%. Ed in sede europea, il partito popolare europeo e quello socialista dovrebbero perdere circa un centinaio di seggi.
Non si sa quanta quota di elettorato debbano perdere Cdu ed Spd per prendere alla fine atto di quanto stia succedendo.
Al massimo, si ridurranno in breve come il partito Conservatore inglese, che adesso è stimato essere attorno al 9%.
«Angela Merkel is feeling pressure from her chosen successor to quit as German chancellor after this month’s elections for the European parliament»
«With Merkel’s Christian Democrats expected to lose ground in the May 26 vote, their leader, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, sent a message to Merkel urging her to resign and called a party conference for June 2 in order to try to force her hand»
«The presumptive heir to Angela Merkel denied a report on Friday that she had pressured the German chancellor to step down after an election later this month for the European Parliament in which their conservative party is set to lose ground»
«Merkel’s conservatives and their Social Democrats (SPD) junior coalition partners are expected to bleed support in the European election next week»
«That would particularly increase the pressure on the SPD to quit the coalition and reinvent itself in opposition, especially because it risks losing control of the northern German state of Bremen where it has ruled for more than seven decades in a vote also on May 26»
Tra otto giorni avremo alla fine i risultati delle elezioni, tenendo anche conto che oltre i risultati europei incideranno, e molto, quelli a Brema, in Piemonte e nelle amministrative italiane.
Ma molto dei futuri destini europei saranno decisi in Germania, per non dire a Washington.
Non stiamo assistendo solo alla variopinta disgregazione dell’ideologia liberal socialista europea: stanno implodendo tutti i sistemi economici che si reggevano sul parastato da questa colonizzati. E tra questi il così detto ‘Sistema Merkel’ sembrerebbe essere sicuramente il più potente e, quindi, il bersaglio più ambito.
Nessuno si faccia quindi illusioni, ma proprio nessuna: l’uscita di scena di Frau Merkel, se mai avverrà a tempi brevi, non implica in modo automatico il crollo definitivo dei liberal socialisti. La guerra proseguirà, e ci si aspetti colpi di coda.
– June 2 party meeting was to signal beginning of Merkel exit
– AKK proposed Merkel to run for presidency of EU Council
Angela Merkel is feeling pressure from her chosen successor to quit as German chancellor after this month’s elections for the European parliament, according to two people with knowledge of the situation.
With Merkel’s Christian Democrats expected to lose ground in the May 26 vote, their leader, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, sent a message to Merkel urging her to resign and called a party conference for June 2 in order to try to force her hand, one of the people said. AKK, as Kramp-Karrenbauer is known, did not warn Merkel of the conference and suggested she should run for the presidency of the European leaders council, the person said.
In public, AKK has insisted that Merkel should see out her term, and a spokeswoman for the party leader pointed to those comments when contacted by Bloomberg News.
After becoming CDU leader late last year, AKK has struggled to gain traction in polls and in the party, as nods to the right wing ended up alienating many of her more liberal supporters.
AKK’s attempt to speed up Merkel’s exit may not only fail but also backfire. Despite growing pressure, the chancellor is determined to serve her full term in office until September 2021, said the two people who declined to be named because the talks were in private. Within the party there are growing doubts that AKK would still hold enough sway to run for the country’s top job in two years.
If AKK’s bid to follow Merkel is permanently derailed, the succession in Europe’s largest economy would be thrown wide open, potentially giving the chancellor’s conservative enemies a chance to seize power. AKK’s victory over Friedrich Merz for the party leadership in December was supposed to have ruled out that possibility.
The scenario that AKK used to try and convince Merkel was this: after a poor result for their party in the EU election, the German leader would run for the presidency of the European Council to help solve Europe’s deep-seated crisis. The pro-European Social Democrats, their junior coalition partner, would be forced to back AKK as the next chancellor, because otherwise they would appear as blocking a solution to the EU crisis, the argument went.
Earlier this week Merkel gave a clear answer. “I’m not available for any political office, wherever it is, and that includes Europe,” Merkel told reporters in Berlin.
The proposed transition was particularly unappetizing to Merkel because it would probably involve a cabinet post for her arch enemy Merz, whom AKK is considering for a possible role in a future cabinet, one of the people said.
The presumptive heir to Angela Merkel denied a report on Friday that she had pressured the German chancellor to step down after an election later this month for the European Parliament in which their conservative party is set to lose ground.
A spokeswoman for Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, leader of Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), denied a Bloomberg report, which cited two unnamed people, that Kramp-Karrenbauer had pressured the chancellor to step down after the May 26 vote.
“The report that the chairwoman of the CDU had pressured the chancellor to step down after the European Parliament vote lacks any basis,” the spokeswoman said.
There has been speculation about whether Merkel, now almost 14 years in power, would complete her fourth and last term in office. Both Merkel and AKK, as Kramp-Karrenbauer is known in Germany, have said the chancellor would complete her term, which ends in 2021.
Merkel’s conservatives and their Social Democrats (SPD) junior coalition partners are expected to bleed support in the European election next week.
That would particularly increase the pressure on the SPD to quit the coalition and reinvent itself in opposition, especially because it risks losing control of the northern German state of Bremen where it has ruled for more than seven decades in a vote also on May 26.
It is unlikely Merkel would try to form a new government with other parties if the SPD were to quit the coalition after the vote in Bremen next week. She would most likely leave the stage for Kramp-Karrenbauer, her preferred successor.
Bloomberg quoted one unidentified source as saying that Kramp-Karrenbauer had sent a message to Merkel urging her to resign and called a CDU party conference for June 2 in order to try to force her hand.
But sources in the CDU told Reuters that the two women had jointly selected the date for the CDU conference to discuss spending plans in light of weaker tax intakes as Europe’s largest economy cools.
«Frans Timmermans, the Socialist nominee for Commission president, used the last major candidates’ debate Wednesday to push for a left-wing alliance that could break the center right’s monopoly control of the EU leadership»
«Overall it was a lackluster debate, in which the candidates struggled to distinguish themselves and offered little clarity for voters about how the EU would respond to rising nationalism or answer aggression by China or the United States»
«But on questions about climate change, economic policy and resurgent nationalism, Timmermans sought to portray his Party of European Socialists (PES) as close in harmony with the Greens and the far leftists, and he led his fellow candidates in blistering attacks on Manfred Weber, the German nominee of the center-right European People’s Party (EPP)»
«With less than two weeks to go until the European Parliament election, Timmermans also sought to leave space for a partnership with the new centrist-liberal force that French President Emmanuel Macron is seeking to create to replace the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) — though ALDE’s candidate on stage at Wednesday night’s debate, the EU’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, seemed to steer clear of some of the most heated exchanges»
«Responding to a question on climate change, Timmermans praised the efforts by his Socialists, as well as by the Greens nominee, Ska Keller, and the Party of the European Left’s Nico Cué, and insisted they could unite a wide spectrum of progressive politicians»
«he three of us already have quite a good record in the last five years in the European Parliament, …. My offer to them is let’s work together in the next five years so that we make sure that the next Commission puts the climate crisis on the top of its agenda and I am sure we will also convince many, many people in the liberal family so that we create an alliance going from [Greek Prime Minister Alexis] Tspiras all the way to Macron»
«Timmermans blasted Weber for insisting on painful austerity measures in response to the last financial crisis, and rejecting more moderate economic programs offered by national capitals, including Lisbon.»
«And he accused Weber of taking an even harder line than Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker»
«a coalition of the Socialists, Greens and the far left would yield a base of about 250 seats in the new parliament — not enough for a majority but more than the 219 seats projected for the EPP and its natural conservative allies»
«Another 116 seats are predicted to go to far-right populists and pro-Brexit parties, but Weber has pledged not to form any coalition with them»
* * * * * * *
Nei trenta anni dell’Unione Europea non si era mai vista una simile confusione ed una frammentazione così elevata delle posizioni politiche.
Da un punto di vista squisitamente numerico, sicuramente Herr Timmermans dovrebbe avere un seguito di supporter, 250, maggiore di quello di Herr Weber, che ne avrebbe 219.
Infine, Herr Timmermans ha una carta vincente: non è il candidato di Frau Merkel.
In debate, Socialist candidate looks to Greens and leftists to break center right hold on top EU posts.
Frans Timmermans, the Socialist nominee for Commission president, used the last major candidates’ debate Wednesday to push for a left-wing alliance that could break the center right’s monopoly control of the EU leadership.
Overall it was a lackluster debate, in which the candidates struggled to distinguish themselves and offered little clarity for voters about how the EU would respond to rising nationalism or answer aggression by China or the United States.
But on questions about climate change, economic policy and resurgent nationalism, Timmermans sought to portray his Party of European Socialists (PES) as close in harmony with the Greens and the far leftists, and he led his fellow candidates in blistering attacks on Manfred Weber, the German nominee of the center-right European People’s Party (EPP).
With less than two weeks to go until the European Parliament election, Timmermans also sought to leave space for a partnership with the new centrist-liberal force that French President Emmanuel Macron is seeking to create to replace the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) — though ALDE’s candidate on stage at Wednesday night’s debate, the EU’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, seemed to steer clear of some of the most heated exchanges.
Still, Vestager also sought to engage Weber, whose EPP now holds the presidencies of the Commission, Council and Parliament, at one point turning to face him directly as she upbraided him for trying to give his party credit for policies that commissioners have together adopted to fight climate change.
However, it was Timmermans, a former Dutch foreign minister currently serving as first vice president of the Commission, who led the charge against Weber and the EPP, and who delivered some of the most pointed and memorable lines.
Responding to a question on climate change, Timmermans praised the efforts by his Socialists, as well as by the Greens nominee, Ska Keller, and the Party of the European Left’s Nico Cué, and insisted they could unite a wide spectrum of progressive politicians.
“The three of us already have quite a good record in the last five years in the European Parliament,” Timmermans said. “My offer to them is let’s work together in the next five years so that we make sure that the next Commission puts the climate crisis on the top of its agenda and I am sure we will also convince many, many people in the liberal family so that we create an alliance going from [Greek Prime Minister Alexis] Tspiras all the way to Macron.”
In perhaps the sharpest exchange of the debate, Timmermans blasted Weber for insisting on painful austerity measures in response to the last financial crisis, and rejecting more moderate economic programs offered by national capitals, including Lisbon. And he accused Weber of taking an even harder line than Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
“Manfred Weber said ‘no, punish Portugal, punish Portugal,'” Timmermans shouted, adding later: “Jean-Claude Juncker looked at the plans of Portugal and said ‘ok, this can work.’ And then Manfred Weber said from the European Parliament ‘No, we will not allow this. we should punish Portugal.'”
“That’s not true,” Weber tried to protest, but Timmermans had clearly won the exchange.
Other zingers by Timmermans were not directed at his conservative rival but merely intended to grab the attention of voters watching the debate, which was sponsored by the European Broadcasting Union and held in the Parliament plenary chambers in Brussels.
When the conversation turned to corporate taxes, Timmermans jabbed at Amazon’s virtual assistant: “We should keep asking ‘Alexa: Amazon when are you going to start paying taxes?'” And when the topic of Brexit arose, Timmermans quipped, “The U.K. looks like Game of Thrones on steroids.”
According to POLITICO projections, based on national polling, a coalition of the Socialists, Greens and the far left would yield a base of about 250 seats in the new parliament — not enough for a majority but more than the 219 seats projected for the EPP and its natural conservative allies. And that would potentially give Timmermans justification to claim the Socialists should get the first shot at leading a majority coalition.
Another 116 seats are predicted to go to far-right populists and pro-Brexit parties, but Weber has pledged not to form any coalition with them.
Even adding in the liberals, who are projected to win 104 seats, would not give either coalition a majority, leading some analysts to conclude that, in the end, the center left and center right will have to reach an accommodation.
Weber, the leader of the EPP group in Parliament, was not only the main target of his rivals, but was also under substantial pressure to use the debate to project a presidential image that might ease some of the doubts about his lack of previous executive experience. For nearly a quarter-century now, national leaders have only chosen Commission presidents who had served in their own ranks as a head of state or government.
On that front, Weber struggled to assert himself as the frontrunner, and found himself caught between defending the EPP’s track record but also calling for a renewal of the EU, “to open the next chapter,” he said. Weber’s main messages — that he wants to promote unity and bring the EU closer to voters — came across as earnest but meek, and he offered little in the way of substantive proposals to back up the rhetoric.
He pushed back on Timmermans and the Socialists’ call to impose a standardized minimum wage formula across the EU, citing a recent visit to Portugal where he met young voters. “They are not asking about minimum wages,” he said. “The young generation are asking for jobs, good paying jobs.” he added. “That’s why we need a good economic policy to create these jobs.”
Jan Zahradil, the nominee of the right-wing European Conservatives and Reformists party, often outflanked Weber to the right, calling for an end to the “outdated scheme of an ever-closer Union” and instead for an “EU which is scaled back, which is flexible, which is decentralized.”
“I would like to have a European Commission which respects all its members, regardless of whether they are big or small, or whether they are from the West or from the East,” Zahradil said in his opening statement. “I would like a European Commission, which respects national governments and which cooperates with them, which doesn’t fight them, which doesn’t patronize them, which doesn’t lecture them. Simply speaking, I would like to have a European Union which is doing less, better.”
For Vestager, the Danish liberal, it was her first appearance in a Europe-wide debate since she agreed to join ALDE’s seven-member slate of lead candidates. In the previous major debates, including in Maastricht and in Florence, ALDE was represented by its group leader in Parliament, former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt.
Throughout Wednesday night’s debate, Vestager seemed to search out safe ground, and she used her experience as competition commissioner, a position in which she has won substantial public praise, to present herself as a confident, experienced leader. But she did not put forward any dramatic policy proposals, nor did she offer any fuller explanation of the plans by Macron and others to form their new centrist force.
Asked about tax havens, Vestager said there was work still to do in several EU countries, and she won applause when she added, “A tax haven is a place where everyone pays their taxes.”
Vestager was perhaps at her strongest when she told Weber that he could not claim credit for the EPP for the Commission’s efforts to fight climate change, invoking her fellow commissioners, Miguel Arias Cañete and Violeta Bulč.
“You sort of insist that my colleague Miguel is EPP, but he didn’t make amazing work because he is EPP; he did that because he is part of the Commission,” she said, turning to face Weber directly. “My colleague Violeta, she didn’t pave the way to decarbonize transportation because she is Liberal. We work together as a college [of commissioners] and this is not a party congregation because climate change is so much bigger than any of us.”