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German election results...

(48 Posts)
Spinflight Sun 24-Sep-17 19:15:31

Looking very interesting...

Based upon exit polls.

Really though if they are merely off by a percent here and there Merkel might even need three minor parties to form a government. Which would make things exceedingly interesting.

Going to be a nailbiter I think...

Carolinesbeanies Mon 25-Sep-17 00:55:36

It appears shes certainly not hit the pre-election poll levels shed hoped for of 40% Spin. From my seat, (which is a tad more financial) Im hopeful its enough to see the end of her finance minister Schauble. The Greeks are up next year on their bailout and hes been a huge driver regards the high interest rates charged to Greece. Add to that that its looking like she may have to go to the FDP as another coalition partner, (FDP are outspoken about Greece and the provision of financial support by Berlin, as well as being hugely supportive of migration control) it all starts to get very messy for her.

'Mummy' certainly isnt mummy any more.

Carolinesbeanies Mon 25-Sep-17 01:18:20

AFD strong showing in the east. SPD have announced theyre formally going into oppsition, which only leaves Merkel with an FDP and Greens coalition. If so, (this could take weeks) there could be a huge shift on German 'EU' policy, and finance IMO, will be top of the agenda. Interesting times indeed Spin.

Spinflight Mon 25-Sep-17 04:03:30

Indeed Schauble's scalp will be celebrated in much of Europe. Not so much by Macron, whose agenda is now in tatters.

The FDP are almost pastiche free marketeers. Not convinced it will mean much for Brexit but another story here is the slow but strong decline of the socialist left in Europe. Schultz probably toast. No-one will miss him.

Interestingly it was an awkward result, but remarkably close to disaster. An unlikely coalition can have a reasonable majority when just a % here or there could have made it unworkable anyway. Which realistically it isn't, especially if the Greens insist on their version of the foreign office.

Could take months or even not happen. Another election not that unlikely, however difficult to see what could change. Slowing world trade, carmageddon, inflation round the corner and no possible solution to the ever present eurozone crisis. Also they have to raise their defence budget and will end up paying the lions share of our lost EU contributions. Can't see their sweetheart VAT deal lasting long. They've certainly got a lot to think about.

I wonder how the AfD will play it. Their social conservatism might have fitted in well with the other two but for the political impossibility of Merkel considering it. Will they noisily oppose or seek to be taken more seriously? There's going to be tensions between Merkel's mob and her grumpy Bavarian chums too, the AfD took a lot of second places there along with most of Eastern Germany. It won't be lost on anyone that the AfD were merely a couple of percentage points away from being unignorable.

Looks like a 4 party coalition with an overall majority of about 35 in an enlarged Bundestag. Hence about 55% plays 45%. With any one of the three able to hold Merkel to ransom.

Suspect Trump might have a smile on his face today. smile

On another note always nice to see cupcakes on the street protesting against democracy.

Igneococcus Mon 25-Sep-17 06:36:00

(FDP are outspoken about Greece and the provision of financial support by Berlin, as well as being hugely supportive of migration control)
Migration control is something the Greens (with the exception of Boris Palmer possibly) seem to oppose. That is going to be a difficult point in coalition talks.

Carolinesbeanies Mon 25-Sep-17 09:25:38

Surely the whole dynamic coming out of Germany now and of course Macrons ailing France, will significantly shift Spin? In short, I dont think the AFD will have to do anything as such, just exist.

Igneo, youre right about ensuing difficulties. Im not cheering the rise of the far right, but I am cheering the demise of main centre parties (as here) that have wandered their condescending way through the political scene for decades. (Blair has got so much more to answer for than first meets the eye)
If you continue to remove democracy from a nations people, this is what you get.

Whats quite amazing is, here we now have possible 70 plus AFD seats in the German Parliament. In France Le Pen received more votes than May did here, and that half of young French voted Le Pen as opposed to just 20% of over 65s. Its forgotten that Belgium took 500 plus days to form a government in 2011 and has since seen the significant rise of the Flemish Alliance to become the largest party in the Chamber of Representatives. The Netherlands are in uncomfortable coalition territory, the largest party polling only 21% of the vote, and Geert Wilders polling second largest at 13%. Spain couldnt form a government in 2015, so had another go in 2016 giving Rajoy a very unstable 33% vote share and a nightmare in Catalonia. Italys Five Star, who demand a referendum on the euro, are leading the polls for the next election, due before May 2018. How the German election will indeed impact Greece is yet to be seen.

And still the EU plough on in their arrogance, stripping citizens of their voice, and calling the UK, with no UKIP MPs whatsoever, (not to mention the likes of the BNP have utterly disappeared from the political landscape), a racist nation.

Igneococcus Mon 25-Sep-17 09:51:29

I'm feeling quite sad about the demise of the SPD, I'm from a working class family, but I agree, the party has completely lost sight of what and who it once stood for.
I'm not particularly worried about the AfD, I'm not happy about them being in the Bundestag but I think that they will selfdestruct eventually. Frauke Petry has already said that she won't take up her seat, not sure what that is about. I also think there is a real need for the other parties to engage with and listen to the people who have voted for the AfD. This didn't happen, as fas as I can tell from watching it from outwith the country, telling people they are all fieses Nazipack when they voice concerns is obvioulsy not going to stop people voting for the AfD.
The coalition negotiations are going to be a nightmare and I doubt any coalition will last till the next regular election. Keeping in mind that those grumpy Bavarians have elections in 2018, the CSU will need to keep an eye on that one.

Spinflight Mon 25-Sep-17 15:25:42

"Surely the whole dynamic coming out of Germany now and of course Macrons ailing France, will significantly shift Spin? In short, I dont think the AFD will have to do anything as such, just exist. "

I could argue it either way Caroline and you are quite correct that all the AfD have to do is exist. Subtle things like Germany's image as a Europhile nation, the dynamics of international cooperation to further ever closer union and Merkel's own authority have taken rather large hits.

There was a prevalent joke in the French elections that they either voted in a woman, in Le Pen, or got a woman in Merkel. Frankly people inuit the truth far more readily than those paid to write it. smile

I don't find many reasons to be cheerful on a procedural level though. The FDP may profess some mild euroscepticism with regard to bail outs and directly giving cash to other countries but given their position I find it likely these are merely things to barter. As every other party in Europe who represent big business do.

In the Bundestag the AfD will be decried and ignored. The falling auction of virtue signalling by denunciation has probably already started.

Whilst seeing photoshopped Twitter images of hurricane Adolf hitting Germany were in amusingly bad taste, I suspect the truth is that those elected to AfD seats don't actually want their jobs. Probably won't be very good at them.

The trouble is that politicians think the populists want their jobs, therefore try to keep them out of their jobs, and therefore decry and ignore them. Meanwhile the populists just want their elected scumbags to listen to them so they can go back to whatever their chosen trade is. Very few want the limelight, very few will actually understand the power they wield ( aside from voting) and will at best likely be treated as useless dolts. I doubt there's anyone with any real experience of anything

Germany has just as many elected politicians as before, the AfD seats are pretty much additions.

Noisy opposition is fine but I don't see much reason to think it will change anything. If they try to cooperate on certain issues things might get interesting but they're going to be in a tough spot. The one thing they will have now is money and premises but no matter how finely balanced the parliament the deck will always be rigged against them before any voting occurs.

And all that is assuming they are merely socially conservative, as they claim, rather than vying to be the most famous Austrian of them all.

At the end of the day the eurozone is all about money and unseating Schauble a glorious revolution of it's own. On wider effects stemming from AfD itself, or about Brexit, I see little or nothing in my crystal ball.

Spinflight Mon 25-Sep-17 18:29:17

In fact Caroline, the more I think about it, the less well it bodes.

Weak governments in the UK, Germany ( sometime this decade one presumes), Spain, France, almost everywhere else barring Poland and a small handful.

Who does weak governments benefit?

Only the EU that I can think of.

Carolinesbeanies Tue 26-Sep-17 01:12:38

For the time being, Id disagree Spin. If only because the one source of EU perceived progress this year, has been the Merkel/Macron pact. Both leaders are now on far less stable ground. Heres my trail of thought.

The euro has been in dodgy territory for a while, inflating beyond the point the ECB are comfortable with, so todays small post election decline will actually be good news rather than bad. It becomes sticky if it continues to fall. Europe is awash with euros, all merrily printed by the ECB in their QE fervour. Print more, lend more to prop up the smaller failing states.

Controlled QE is one thing, but if policy starts to falter, the euro will become out of control of the ECB and take up a life of its own. This is where the FDP danger lies.

They have several policies pretty close to the AfD. One being the phasing out of the bailout fund, and another is to change to EU treaties to allow eurozone members to leave the eurozone. Not that I think theyd succeed in dictating policy, but a coalition would put the brakes on the whole 'further expansion' euro dream, and this is specifically where I believe the EU will come unstuck.

We know the EU are in a mess financially. They need cash and an injection pretty quickly to meet their current commitments. Two dramatic change in policies have recently been floated. One, demand all EU members join the euro, and two and more recently, Macrons proposing changing tax law on the large tech companies.

If Merkel forms the coalition we're all now hypothesizing she will, those two policy proposals are dead in the water. The 'further expansion' dream is all but over. That leaves Germany on the whole, supporting 26 other states, with the limited and shrinking resources the EU already have.

All that, without me even touching on a hint of nationalism influencing future policy..............

Carolinesbeanies Tue 26-Sep-17 01:57:51

Igneococcus, its been a huge mistake (and if Spins right about the cartoons today) it still carries on in the media, solely to elevate the whole racist, nazi, accusations. This, IMO, has almost single handedly seen the increase in nationalist parties across europe. I know how offensive it is to call someone a racist. More importantly, so do those that call it, which is why they do.

I cant even imagine how offensive it is to call a hard working, decent German, a nazi. Especially one who simply has genuine concerns about government policy. However, the quickest way to lose an argument, is to call someone a racist. The remain campaign against Brexit was lost, imo, by this one action alone. Call them racists, its so offensive, no one will dare vote leave.

Today, mainstream politicians, liberals, via the media, are losing support every minute of every day the longer they continue this assault on their tax payers. But the message is still loud and clear. Support FOM, support open borders, or we'll call you nazi. Im not surprised in the least with the rise of the AfD.

Weve had plenty of politicians saying theyre going to 'listen' to the concerns of voters. They dont. This rise in right wing populism will continue until governments are forced to listen, or ousted. All of us can only hope, its sooner rather than later.

Spinflight Tue 26-Sep-17 06:39:31

I couldn't agree more about the eurozone being in a mess, and one that their rather weak attempts to control have been thwarted.

I think we only disagree on the inflexion point regarding the FDP's very mild euroscepticism. I think it's merely there to trade away, in much the same way as Cameron's supposed euroscepticism disappeared in a huff of post referendum sulking at the result he allegedly should have welcomed. Which was so amusing I often play his resignation speech to cheer myself up. :D

Because of him and people like him there are quite a large number of people who think they are racist when their principles merely enshrine the most egalitarian ethos of all. One that has shaped this country more than any other, and indeed I would argue, given us vital competitive advantages throughout our history.

That of equality under the law.

People know something is wrong. If they mutilated their daughter they'd expect to go to prison for it, yet would be a bit shy of criticising FGM. They know that if they needed social housing they'd be at the back of the queue, but think they might be thought bigots if they ever mentioned such things.

They intuit that equality legislation breaks a fundamental principle, that by given select groups rights of a higher standard or greater access to justice their own rights are diminished but don't really, I think, consider the end result. If your rights are identical to mine I'll defend them with my life. If yours are superior then you're on your own. If however a clearly written law will be applied with force to me, but waived against someone else then that really breeds resentment.

Then up steps some pompous idiot who without his title would have been an ignorable car salesman. Anyone who doesn't support a society which falls well short of equality under the law is a racist he says with great authority.

Igneococcus Tue 26-Sep-17 09:07:47

caroline I absolutely agree with that. I have not seen anywhere in the media that I read (Spiegel, Suedeutsche, Zeit, ..) an attempt at understanding why people are voting for the AfD. I have only seen namecalling and accusations and Ossis vs Wessis fighting. A German parenting site where I have been member since 2005 has descended into mudslinging where longtime members were called "Nutte" or "braune Scheisse" by other longtime members.
This isn't only a German issue though. It was similar during (and after) Brexit discussions and in the last US and UK election. And also the shift of the left away from working class concerns is happening everywhere else as well.

Igneococcus Tue 26-Sep-17 09:28:51

Just seen this in the German forum, one of the last remaining reasonable posters there posted this link to the Zeit 501why I voted for the AfD and she sums up the top 3 reasons given by AfD voters:

"1.Unzufriedenheit mit der GroKo, vor allem der Flüchtlingspolitik

2. Ärger über Beschimpfungen in der Presse/sozialen Netzwerken

3. Zunahme des traditionellen Islam"

and I can see also quite a few (have only skimmed the first couple of pages) who are unhappy about the CDU/CSU moving to the left.

Carolinesbeanies Tue 26-Sep-17 20:17:35

"I think we only disagree on the inflexion point regarding the FDP's very mild euroscepticism"

And you could be absolutely right Spin. It certainly wouldnt be the first time a political party dithers, u-turns, and splutters their way through a less than honourable ineffectual 4 years whilst taking a tax payers wage. I also totally agree about legal equality. Which brings me onto Macron today. A 'two speed EU'. Interesting description of 1st class and 2nd class EU citizens.

Out side of that, theres been no surprises today, well apart from one. No ones pointed out hes simply regurgitated Schaubles plan from 3 years ago............ Seems a striking omission amongst the generally ra ra and whooping press.

"Why not have a European budget commissioner with powers to reject national budgets if they do not correspond to the rules we jointly agree? We also favour a 'Eurozone parliament’ comprising the MEPs of Eurozone countries to strengthen the democratic legitimacy of decisions affecting the single currency bloc.”

Wolfgang Schauble 2014.

Carolinesbeanies Tue 26-Sep-17 20:39:31

Igneoccoccus, its a common theme isnt it. It may indeed be succesfull at silencing a voice or a view, but it merely moves that voice to act, rather than attempt to speak.
We acted by voting leave. No one would engage in the discussion, prefering the whole racist rhetoric. I utterly understand Germans using their power to vote, when theyve been silenced on the debating floor.

I had to dig around to find a sensible view of this in our mainstream media today, unfortunately its the Sun, ('red tops' notoriously ridiculed by the establishment), but its a weird day, when it falls to the Sun newspaper to point out the obvious.

Spinflight Tue 26-Sep-17 20:54:44

An interesting geopolitical offshoot of the Green's demands will be ever increasing reliance upon Russian gas.

The EU dream of a large gas pipeline from the middle east to secure their energy needs ( especially with Qatar and Saudi almost at war with each other) looks to be in tatters. Any further pressure on Turkey will see them drift further to Russia and could even see Erdogan fulfill his threats to unleash a migrant wave. Which is now clearly politically unacceptable to Merkel. Probably good news for Syria though Turkey seems to be stepping up the ante there and there's Kurdish independence to factor in too.

Schroder of course now being a Russian energy company employee as they upgrade their capacity to supply Germany looks strangely far sighted. I'm sure many would go further and I have some sympathy, unusually for me, in this regard.

You can read this lots of ways though my take would be that the EU's focus on soft power has been, rather predictably, utterly defeated. Whilst they were already moving away from it, since at least 2005, weak governments and fiscal pressures will probably see this turbocharged at the EU level.

Hence May's speech utterly baffles me.

Number 10 is clearly using a different brand of tea for their predictions...

Carolinesbeanies Tue 26-Sep-17 23:45:42

"the EU's focus on soft power has been, rather predictably, utterly defeated"

Absolutely Spin. Its shit or bust time.

Spinflight Wed 27-Sep-17 05:24:17

Also worth noting that the Greens insisting on the closing of coal fired power stations is more significant than it seems.

Germany has a strange predilection, not shared here of course, towards mining their own energy needs from within Germany where possible. There are some unfortunate repercussions from this short sighted and old fashioned practice such as a employing Germans, building power plants close to the mines and energy security.

Course this is mainly in the West of the country, which is Merkel's territory. Not sure now but Germany used to get 50% of it's power from coal so replacing it, and the infrastructure and the lost jobs isn't as easy a political decision as it might sound.

Carolinesbeanies Wed 27-Sep-17 13:43:29

Slightly overshadowed by other events, but Macrons sold a controling share of Alstrom to Siemens this week. Who'd have thought it 5 years ago. The die is certainly cast.

Share price up though, so suppose thats all that matters. hmm

Carolinesbeanies Wed 27-Sep-17 14:44:23

It looks like Schaubles gone..... (though Macrons clearly filling a hole temporarily)

Carolinesbeanies Wed 27-Sep-17 17:23:58

Merkel unable to comment as yet....... thats certainly more cautious than Id expect today and far short of endorsing. Its a watch and wait situ again.

"Angela Merkel's spokesman said the chancellor would consider Emmanuel Macron's "with an open mind," but added that she could not yet comment on the details of the French president's speech"

proposals for the EU

Carolinesbeanies Thu 28-Sep-17 10:26:10

Spin, Bloomberg have picked up on your 'power' points, and run a piece on it today.

SilverHawk Fri 29-Sep-17 21:22:29

I'd just like to say thank you for all your in depth thoughts about the result, very helpful.

If my memory serves me correctly, Merkel wouldn't countenance any Brexit trade talks until after the German election. As the election hasn't gone as expected, Merkel could be tied up with domestic matters (forming a coalition government) for an estimated three months.
It may leave the Eurocrats a free rein?

Carolinesbeanies Sat 30-Sep-17 00:48:33

Silverhawk, Spins a longtime poster, so Im sure will be back erelong.

In the meantime, you are quite right, Merkel today, "eurozone reform should not be the top priority for the EU".

In the same piece, Macrons ploughing on regardless, this time referencing a 'consensus' view to his and Junkers proposals. Ill guarantee, what 'consensus' he may have had a month ago, is not the concensus he has today. Its absolutely the wrong time to be floating proposals for more power to the EU, when EU citizens, pretty much across the union, are demanding less. Whether he does indeed recognise that, hence the demand for urgency, who knows, but I just cant see him getting far with this.

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