Germany: Merkel aide criticized over comment on nationalists

Germany: Merkel aide criticized over comment on nationalists

They're more about personal preferences, and maybe not anything new for the three readers Fistful still has after Brexit broke the blog.

Meanwhile, Social Democrat (SPD) leader Martin Schulz will address a rally in the western city of Aachen, close to his hometown of Würselen. I'm of several minds.

"I am against threats of this kind". Ultimately, a lack of clear ideological differences may mostly benefit Merkel, who has 12 years of experience as chancellor, and extreme parties on the sidelines.

Germany's centrist parties, especially Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), had taken comfort in the AfD's dwindling fortunes for months.

[Me again] Well, it's proportional representation, so everybody is in the running. Should a majority prove elusive, the coalition will also seek to include the Greens, and will be named "Jamaica" from the colors of each party, black, yellow and green. The simplest option is to renew the current "Grand Coalition" with the SPD.

Schulz returned to German politics in January after years as the European Parliament's president. Bolstered by opposition to Ms Merkel's controversial 2015 decision to admit over a million refugees into Germany, the AfD could pick up as much as 11 percent of the vote - making it the third-strongest political party in the national parliament. In many ways, it has been the exact opposite, even though the far-right is expected to make significant gains on Sunday. If anything, that's pleasingly low. But!

Hurdles: The Left's links with Communists in former East Germany and painful SPD memories of an exodus to the Left over deep labor market reforms more than a decade ago.

Eurozone Reform: Merkel knows that the Eurozone needs more integration for the euro to survive in the long term. Merkel is the ideal centrist candidate for a happily centrist people.

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Even senior party officials appear to have little confidence in Sunday's outcome. What will be the role that the SDP, the other major party, play?

A minority government would be a first and stability-craving Germans would not like it but may prefer it to new elections. The conservative Merkel suddenly emerged as the "leader of the free world". It's also been hard for him to carve out clear differences with the conservatives.

"We don't see any verified attacks", said Mr Sandro Gaycken, the director of the Digital Society Institute in Berlin, which has been monitoring for Russian meddling.

And those who focus in terms of educational policy exclusively on which party is committed to Islamic religious instruction fail to recognise that the real crux of the matter lies elsewhere: namely, the need for policies that support equal opportunities for all children and young people.

I think we are about to find out how well proportional representation (PR) serves Germany. The CDU kept its top spot with 34 percent support, down 2 points and the SPD was down one point to 21 percent. One of the big parties governed in coalition with the FDP.

But, a bit more. here is UBS on what election means for the European Central Bank. "That's something the Tea Party and the USA alt-right have in common with the AfD". Second, a government could not be brought down by parliament without its replacement being proposed.

This may complicate the creation of a coalition and will leave Merkel in need of more compromises with others to construct a government. For instance, the CDU partnering with FDP and Greens under Merkel's leadership. These had a rough left-right breakdown, with SPD/Green on the left and CDU/FDP on the right. "For the first time in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany, there will be a political party within the walls of the Reichstag [Parliament] building which does not distance itself from the Nazi past and which tolerates members who publicly express themselves in racist and xenophobic language". In Germany, all adult citizens are entitled to vote, but no one is forced to go to the polls.