Germany calls her “Mutti”, an affectionate word for “mum”. For more than 13 years, Angela Merkel has been the German Chancellor, the highest executive role in the country. She has also been the main political leader of Europe, and the cement between territories – especially since the Brexit vote.
Angela Merkel has been very popular and has managed unprecedented crises, from the Iraq war, to the 2008 financial crisis and eventually the refugees situation in Europe.
While her party, the centre-right CDU is now declining and after more than a decade of ruling, Angela Merkel has decided to step down. While the Green Party and the far-right is on the rise in Germany, the public opinion worries about the country’s future, in a fragmented Europe.
A veteran leaves
According to the BBC, Angela Merkel declared that she “will not be seeking any political post after my term ends”, she told a news conference in Berlin on Monday.
While her Party, the Christian Democratic Union of Germany, will elect its new leader during elections in December, Angela Merkel said she would not seek re-election.
Germany’s Merkel to step down as CDU chief https://t.co/qpSSYWj6v4
— Financial Times (@FT) October 29, 2018
For many Germans, Angela Merkel, is, before being the leader of a party, a unifier. She has been in the politic spectrum since the late nineties. Her mentor was Helmut Kohl, the pioneer of Germany’s reunification and leader of the CDU from 1973 to 1998.
An undergoing crisis
Merkel’s decision to leave would be, according to the BBC, a result of the poor elections outcome for her party. She declared during her speech on Monday that: “As chancellor and leader of the CDU, I’m politically responsible for everything, for successes and for failures”.
However, the party, which was strong until then, does not seem to have found any kind of strong leader to replace her, according to Der Spiegel . Indeed, the weekly magazine reports it even seems that the party is undergoing a deep crisis.
.@RuthBenderWSJ's story on Germany's rising Greens includes important caveats:
their support has surged before, but it didn't last
upcoming elections in eastern Germany will be much harder for them
https://t.co/empJdLkonJ via @WSJ
— Marcus Walker (@MMQWalker) October 31, 2018
A few days ago, the German Green Party lived a severe setback last year, won the regional elections in Bavaria, showing that the rise of the alt-right was over-exaggerated – but also confirming the decline of the CDU. The State of Bavaria was lost by Merkel’s party.
Uncertain regional elections
Last weekend, CDU as well as its partner, the Social Democrat party, dropped by 10% in the poll in the State of Hesse. On the other hand, the Green party surged at 19.5%.
In Munich, the Bavarian capital, about 42.5% of the votes went to the ecologist party. Bavaria, known for being a progressive State, has shown surprising results.
While the public opinion was fearing a high percentage of alt-right votes, only 12.5% for the alt-right party called Afd “Alternative for Germany”. However, this is one of the highest scores the AfD ever registered and many people fear that the alt-right will surge in something even bigger in the next elections.
A few days ago a controversy sparked while a member of the AfD was invited to speak at the University of Oxford.
In the meantime, a study was published and showed that the German economic boom was mainly due to the workforce the refugees crisis brought in the country. The full report is available here.