Milton Ezrati writes in The American Conservative that after winning her fourth chancellorship, Angela Merkel’s position is weak. Her party lost support, and the anti-EU Alternative for Germany entered parliament as a minority party. Ezrati calls Germany’s political environment “fractious and unstable.” What can Germany’s future hold when so much of the population is turning against the Merkel-led establishment? Ezrati writes (abridged):
Pity Angela Merkel. Though she has won a fourth term as German Chancellor, she faces severe problems governing in a now fractious and unstable political environment….
Her position is so weak that Germany soon may have a need for another election….She will still have great difficulty pursuing her former pro-immigrant, pro-EU policies or resisting clear pressure for a more nationalist agenda….
A clear rightward shift is evident in who gained. The unapologetically nationalist Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) Party has come out of nowhere to win a remarkable 94 seats in the Bundestag, 12.6 percent of the total. The EU-skeptical and pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP), which had lost its place in the legislature after the last election, will return with 80 seats, some 10.7 percent of the votes….
Crosscurrents like these will make governing all but impossible. Merkel faces a Herculean task just to form a governing coalition. The center-left SDP, her former partner, has already expressed its clear disinterest in joining a coalition. It has lost big and is more interested now in soul searching than governing….
She has begun to approach the FDP and the environmentalist Greens to make a three-party coalition, but that is far from a workable combination either. On major issues, from energy, to the auto industry, to immigration, to EU integration, the Greens hold positions diametrically opposed to those of either the FDP or many in the CDS/CDU union….
There is, then, a good chance that she will fail to form a government or that it will fall quickly. In either case, the country would have to hold yet another election, perhaps within a few months.
Read more here.