It’s Not You, It’s Us: Germans Ready to Let Merkel Go

German chancellor Angela Merkel delivers a news conference in Berlin, March 24, 2015
German chancellor Angela Merkel delivers a news conference in Berlin, March 24, 2015 (Bundesregierung)

Twelve years into the Merkel era, Germans are ready for a change.

A Politbarometer poll conducted for ZDF television found that one in two voters want Martin Schulz, the Social Democrat, to become chancellor after the election in September.

Only 38 percent prefer Angela Merkel to stay. Read more “It’s Not You, It’s Us: Germans Ready to Let Merkel Go”

Let’s Not Read Too Much into Schulzmania Yet

German Social Democratic Party leader Martin Schulz, then president of the European Parliament, gives a speech in Brussels, February 2, 2016
German Social Democratic Party leader Martin Schulz, then president of the European Parliament, gives a speech in Brussels, February 2, 2016 (European Parliament)

Germany’s Social Democrats are gaining ground on the once unassailable conservative chancellor, Angela Merkel.

Since the party nominated Martin Schulz for the chancellorship last month, it has gone up in the polls. Whereas the Social Democrats were stuck in the low 20s for much of 2016, they have climbed up to nearly 30 percent support in the last few weeks.

One survey, released on Monday, even put the Social Democrats one point ahead of Merkel’s Christian Democrats. Read more “Let’s Not Read Too Much into Schulzmania Yet”

Merkel Proposes to Ban the Burqa: Why and Why Now?

German chancellor Angela Merkel addresses her parliament in Berlin, September 14, 2012
German chancellor Angela Merkel addresses her parliament in Berlin, September 14, 2012 (Bundesregierung/Guido Bergmann)

Angela Merkel’s proposal to ban the burqa has caught some of her foreign admirers by surprise.

A headline at the left-leaning Vox reads, “Germany’s famously tolerant chancellor just proposed a burqa ban,” implying it is both intolerant and out of character for Merkel.

Vox is right when it argues the timing is political. Merkel recently announced she will seek a fourth term as chancellor next year and is facing criticism of her immigration policy from the right.

But this is not an about-face. If anything, her open-doors immigration policy was. Read more “Merkel Proposes to Ban the Burqa: Why and Why Now?”

Merkel Must Be Careful Not to Repeat Clinton’s Mistake

German chancellor Angela Merkel delivers a news conference in Brussels, March 15
German chancellor Angela Merkel delivers a news conference in Brussels, March 15 (Bundesregierung/Guido Bergmann)

“The people in Germany have never had it so good,” Angela Merkel said on Wednesday — and she exhorted them to stay the course that has brought them this far.

In a speech to parliament that was seen as heralding her campaign to seek a fourth term as chancellor next year, the German leader called for unity on “multilateralism” and “shaping globalization together with others.”

“Openness will bring us more security than isolation,” she said.

That’s quite a reversal for the Christian Democrat, who only a few years ago said Multikulti had failed. Read more “Merkel Must Be Careful Not to Repeat Clinton’s Mistake”