“The worst crisis in Angela Merkel’s twelve-year chancellorship” has ended with a whimper. Read more
Germany’s ruling conservative parties are at odds over immigration. Bavaria’s Christian Social Union (CSU) wants to turn refugees away at the border if they have already applied for asylum in another EU country. Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) argues this goes too far.
Here is everything you need to know about the row. Read more
Delegates (not party members) of Germany’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) have voted overwhelmingly in favor of continuing the “grand coalition” with the Social Democrats. The waiting is now for the latter, who conclude a membership vote on Sunday.
The same CDU congress has named Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the moderate prime minister of Saarland, as party secretary and Jens Spahn, a right-wing critic of Angela Merkel’s immigration policy, as candidate for health minister.
Jeremy Cliffe argues in The Economist that the two appointments hint at a healthy ideological debate in the party:
In recent years, Mrs Merkel’s electorally successful, highly tactical and ideologically indistinct brand of centrism has smothered the contrasts between [the CDU’s] different ideological tendencies: liberal, Christian social and conservative. Now, however, a new period of cut-and-thrust in the party seems to be emerging.
An apt headline from Politico: Trump attacks everyone but Russia.
Since thirteen Russian nationals and three Russian entities were indicted on Friday for violating criminal laws to interfere in the 2016 election, the president has lashed out at CNN, the FBI, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee — everyone but the people who tampered with American democracy.
The New York Times reports that Trump’s “conspicuous silence” on Russia’s actions, and his acceptance of Vladimir Putin’s denial, has startled experts and leaves the country leaderless as it fends off more cyberattacks.
- The best-case scenario: The president was an unwitting dupe and is actively covering up the scandal to assuage his fragile ego.
- The worst-case scenario: He conspired with a foreign power to win the election.
If there is a third option, I’d love to hear it. Read more
Germany’s Christian Democrats and Social Democrats are both fending off grassroots rebellions against their decision to form another grand coalition government.
On the right, there is dismay that Angela Merkel gave away the powerful Finance Ministry. Der Spiegel reports that the decision has stirred her erstwhile catatonic party into a potentially revolutionary fury. The liberal Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung can already see the “twilight” of the Merkel era.
On the left, there is disappointment that Martin Schulz broke his word not to team up with Merkel and fear that the party will be punished at the next election. Wolfgang Münchau — prone to exaggeration, but maybe not far off this time — writes that we may be in for a Brexit-style surprise on March 4, when Social Democratic Party members vote on the coalition deal. Read more
- Christian Democrats and Social Democrats have finalized a deal for another “grand coalition” government in Germany.
- The agreement would allow Angela Merkel to remain chancellor for four more years. Read more
Angela Merkel is expected to step down as leader of Germany’s Christian Democratic party (CDU) some time during or after her fourth term as chancellor.
Der Spiegel reports that she is grooming Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the prime minister of Saarland, as her successor.
But there are at least two more candidates: Ursula von der Leyen, the current defense minister, and Jens Spahn, a lawmaker from North Rhine-Westphalia. Read more