Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
Suddenly, the outlook has darkened for Chancellor Angela Merkel, thanks to Bavaria’s conservatives who suffered their worst result in half a century in a state vote on Sunday.
But the disaster in Bavaria, plus a clouded economic outlook due to financial crisis around the globe leave Merkel looking vulnerable and open to attack from within her conservative camp.
The prospect of a reinvigorated Social Democrat (SPD) party, with whom she shares power in a loveless coalition, under its new leadership is yet another headache.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel sent a clear “I told you so!” to the United States and Britain at the weekend, criticising them in unusually frank terms for resisting measures that might have contained the current financial crisis. The conservative leader of Europe’s largest economy reminded her partners that she had pushed for steps to boost the transparency of hedge funds during Germany’s presidency of the Group of Eight last year. ”We got things moving, but we didn’t get enough support, especially in the United States and Britain,” she told the Muenchner Merkur newspaper. Merkel expanded on her point in a speech in Austria, suggesting that both Washington and London were only now coming around to her view.
“It was said for a long time ‘Let the markets take care of themselves’ and that there is ‘no need for more transparency’…Today we are a step further because even America and Britain are saying ‘Yes, we need more transparency, we need better standards for the ratings agencies’.
It hasn’t garnered as much attention or generated quite the same excitement as the nomination battle between U.S. Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton did, but Germany’s Social Democrats are tying themselves in equally torturous knots over who will lead their party into the next election.
Like their U.S. counterparts, the centre-left SPD has two main candidates vying for the right to challenge for the country’s top job. But the similarities between the American and German contests end there.