• Germany's news in English
 

Merkel: only I can steer Germany in rough seas

Published: 04 Dec 2012 14:47 GMT+01:00
Updated: 04 Dec 2012 15:32 GMT+01:00

"These are turbulent times and sometimes we even find ourselves in rough, stormy seas," she told around 1,000 delegates at a party congress of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Hannover.

"But it's Germany's CDU which is safely leading and steering our country through this sea and with a clear compass," she added.

Germany has emerged stronger from the eurozone crisis than it had been when the financial woes in Europe began, Merkel said, adding that her coalition with the Free Democrats (FDP) was "the most successful government" since reunification in 1990.

Buoyed in her position as Germany's most popular politician, Merkel, 58, is gearing up to lead her party to a third term in power, in general elections due in September.

She was also re-elected head of the party by more than 97 percent of delegates with her best result since taking over as chairman of the CDU in 2000.

When she was last re-elected party leader two years ago, she was unopposed and won 90.4 percent of the vote, her lowest level since 2004, amid fears she could lose more support if the party fared badly in the 2011 "super election year".

The party did suffer stinging losses in several state polls in 2011 and early 2012, but Merkel has continued to go from strength to strength in opinion polls measuring voter approval of her handling of the eurozone debt crisis.

She is seen as the party's trump card in its bid for re-election, attracting a level of domestic popularity unseen by any previous post-war German leader,.

Under the banner of "A Strong Germany. Opportunities for All!", delegates filed into the immense exhibition hall for the two-day congress to Stevie Wonder's upbeat "Isn't She Lovely" played by an all-female brass quartet.

"German voters are happy with Mrs Merkel because the majority believe that she is protecting their interests from the needs and desires of other countries," said political scientist Gero Neugebauer of Berlin's Free University.

Social issues, including putting gay couples on the same tax footing as heterosexual married ones, introducing quotas for women at the top-end of business, and mothers' pensions, are expected to be the thorniest points of discussion at the congress.

Another problem on the horizon is the plunging fortunes of Merkel's current coalition partner, the pro-business FDP, which, surveys suggest, could struggle in the autumn election to cross the five-percent threshold to enter parliament.

Merkel said "it goes without saying" that she would hold talks with the opposition Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens if she was unable to form a coalition with the FDP.

After having led a "grand coalition" with the SPD from 2005 to 2009, she said in an interview Sunday's Bild newspaper that "it would be totally implausible if I said we are not talking with the SPD".

"However it remains the case that a grand coalition is not my wish, but rather the continuation of the Christian-Liberal government."

Bild newspaper called her the "360 degree Merkel" on Tuesday. "This CDU is Angela Merkel's CDU - more female, more practical, more sober," it said.

It said Merkel wanted to turn the party around to make it capable of a coalition and compromise as much with the Greens as with the FDP or SPD.

Her SPD challenger Peer Steinbrück, 65, who was finance minister in the 2005-2009 "grand coalition" has been embroiled in a nagging lecture fee debate since launching his campaign in September.

All eyes will be on a regional vote in Lower Saxony in January as an indicator of voter sentiment.

AFP/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

15:36 December 4, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Angie! Your handling of the Euro crisis suggests you could not steer a rocking horse in a kindergarten. Don't make me laugh.
16:26 December 4, 2012 by marimay
She loves the banksters, not her country. Why would she? She is from the east. Have a conversation with someone from east germany, they talk about how great communism was. Horrifying.
17:51 December 4, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
'German voters are happy with Mrs Merkel because the majority believe that she is protecting their interests from the needs and desires of other countries'

So did Hitler in the 1930s until the truth caught up and bit him in the ass. Dr. Merkyl and Mr. Hyde will eventually fly up their own ass too. It is beginning to happen already. Look at the real wages and cost of living over the last decade.

'Germany has emerged stronger from the eurozone crisis than it had been when the financial woes in Europe began, Merkel said'

A loan shark does benefit from others misery. This misery however is also spreading amongst Germans.
18:46 December 4, 2012 by frankiep
Germany has the most stable and prosperous economy in Europe despite being surrounded by countries that are fiscal basket cases with skyrocketing unemployment and riddled with debt. Despite the misleading headline claiming that Merkel said that "only she" can steer Germany through rough seas, she has definitely proven that she knows what she is doing and has Germany's best interests at heart.

But wait....she is encouraging other countries to pay their debts and not live beyond their means therefore she is no better than HITLER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
19:22 December 4, 2012 by Englishted
So lets all sail on the good ship Merkel ,the sister ship to the Titanic .
20:08 December 4, 2012 by wolfgang60
Merkel you're the best ! I knew life in some EU countries just bad ,people cannot feed and Support educations for their children. The bad side of prosperous Germany, the people living beyond their means are coming here for a free ride.
20:19 December 4, 2012 by nstaubach
@Berlin fuer alles:

go back to Greece and tell your people how to save and live life within their limits!
20:52 December 4, 2012 by marimay
Ahem..

You do know that the EU was created to do exactly this: Put countries into great debt, knowing they wouldn't be able to keep up with payments, then enslave them. So far so good. It is funny that the Germans think they will be immune. Your time will come.

A bad idea is a bad idea. Doesn't mean you need to mindlessly support it to save face. Abolish the EU. Have a good day!
21:02 December 4, 2012 by nstaubach
@marimay:

the next train for Greece will leave in 30 minutes!
21:07 December 4, 2012 by TheCrownPrince
I have underestimated her, too. Now I am glad that she is Chancellor in this rough times, all the more because there is nobody who could replace her. Compared to Merkel 90% of all other leading politicians (national and international stage) are clowns or trainees. Concerning the current debt-crisis: if her plan - and I'm sure she has got one - works out in the end, she will be ripe for the history books.
21:07 December 4, 2012 by Leo Strauss
@marimay

Right on. :)

The banksters plan to replace all sovereign nations and their governmental systems with their "system administrators". For them, the world is divided up into "peace spaces" and "battle spaces". The peace spaces, such as the countries of the EU, including Germany, will be driven to economic ruin and then enslaved through national debt. There`s no need to bomb us, we have already been conquered. We have seen this already in Greece and Italy where technocrats have been appointed by the banks to run things in place of the elected rulers. It is only a matter of time until the rest of Europe follows this course, with our Angie at the helm, of course. She is their chosen vessel.

The "battle spaces" are the ones being systematically lit up by the military and their insurgents a la Libya and Syria only to have a bankster puppet installed in place Qaddafi and Assad. And it is to continue.

So get over the "Germans this ... and Greeks that...". It is us versus them. They mean to reintroduce feudalism and to enslave us all so let`s get past the nationalities PSY OP and start calling them out on this.

Check out this article for more:

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.de/2012/02/empires-double-edged-sword-global.html

Peace
21:22 December 4, 2012 by marimay
@nstaubach

Why do you like putting people on trains? I know of a funny moustached man who liked the same. You are creeping me out.
21:26 December 4, 2012 by nstaubach
@TheCrownPronce

I couldn't agree more...spot on!
22:38 December 4, 2012 by steel jaws
What a shame that Germans so often mistake arrogance for intelligence. She caused the mess, so there is no reason she should not clean it up. The only problem is, she is far from being capable and there is nobody in sight who might do a better job.
22:50 December 4, 2012 by frankiep
Tell us all again how Merkel forced countries like Greece and Spain to spend money they couldn't afford. And how she forces other countries to set their retirement age to 55.

It's beyond pathetic how there are people out there who see a country which has stupidly spent itself into bankruptcy, see that same country refuse to do anything to rectify the situation, and then blame it all on another country which wasn't stupid to follow the same path. That kind of "logic" is like seeing a drunk driver going 200 on the highway crashing into a tree, and then blaming the construction company that built the road and the gardener who planted the tree for wrecking the car. Absolutely pathetic.
23:48 December 4, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
@ frankiep

I thought this article from the Guardian newspaper from a couple of years ago was written with great foresight unlike the BILD you obviously read. What do you think? That is if you can up your intellectual game to understand some decent journalism.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/feb/15/greece-europe-single-currency
00:45 December 5, 2012 by jmclewis
Bass Ackwords Was how Angie dealt with this. Greece lied getting in the E.U. ..... Then they over borrowed and increased Government Employment. The Party came to an end and they cannot clean up the mess. They Should have never been loaned more money from IMF, ECB and Germany. The debt should have been reduced 50% the banks should have taken the loss. Greece should have left the E.U. and figured out how to pay back the owed amount. Now they owe more money then when this mess started and they cannot cut enough government services, employes, raise taxes or increase growth enough to pay of the debt in a reasonable amount of time. So When will Greece pay its debt?????? Yes Angie what a Great Job! The sad thing is I do not know if Germany has someone better....
02:22 December 5, 2012 by DavidtheNorseman
@Leo - they aren't as unified as you think, perhaps. There are geographically based powers (Russia, China, India etc) each angling for the pie - especially as the US totters and no one knows how long Big Brother America can keep the Peace. No argument about Euroserfs as I still haven't been able to shake Havel's prediction...

Serious question for German voters, though: from over the Pond I can't see anyone with the charisma to win against AM. Is there any hero of the common folk (in the positive sense, no idiotic comparisons of Angela Ypsilanti with Adolf) who is a serious opponent? I'm not saying it is a good or bad thing - I don't know and whoever leads Germany must first be concerned with Germans' welfare and competent. Who else is there?
13:24 December 5, 2012 by Leo Strauss
@DavidtheNorseman

Hi there. Yes, I agree with you that there are competing groups of elites and players who are angling for the pie, as you say, but I believe that the general parameters have been set by the few within the central core who run it all. In my opinion, we are moving toward a world-wide scientific dictatorship, which will oversee a global neo-feudalism. This will happen regardless of whether it is under a Romney or Obama; a Steinbrück or a Merkel. The Putins and Khordokovskys can struggle for control of the outer sprockets but who is really driving it? Anthony C Sutton and Carrol Quigley write a lot about this- once you go down that rabbit hole you will find it is very deep.

Keep your eye on a man like Henry Kissinger. He moves across national, ideological and political boundaries like a trickster. Henry the K puts the lie to all of these fake paradigms, like Communist/Capitalist. Red China with Trick Dick AND George Bush Sr. - Obama`s special envoy to Russia and a friend of Putin`s. And most recently revealed:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2242258/Revealed-Henry-Kissinger-discussed-overthrowing-West-German-government-secret-spy-network-old-Nazis-aristocrats.html

A German Jew working with a Nazi network?? That`s what I`m talking about.

Maybe we have to start looking more closely at the Deep Politics. :)

PS

What was Havel`s prediction?
15:02 December 5, 2012 by Clarissa Smith
"Only I can..." What is this? Caesarian megalomania??

Whatsoever, if it's just smug self-satisfaction, this already gives reason enough to vote her out next year.

Anyway, Europe is threatened by corporate greed, banksters ect./ect. and this is much more dangerous than a chancellor possibly slightly going crazy. These people want all the power and the only way to save the E.U. and their nations is to go progressive like France. I'm afraid Merkel already messes with banksters and other corporate predators. She's trying to be nice to anyone who might be able to stabilize her power.

Two terms is long enough. It's part of the German system's downside, that this is unlimited.
03:49 December 6, 2012 by DavidtheNorseman
@Leo - sorry, I was putting two things together subconsciously,

1. Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom"

and

2. Havel's quote: "Without free, self-respecting, and autonomous citizens there can be no free and independent nations. Without internal peace, that is, peace among citizens and between the citizens and the state, there can be no guarantee of external peace."

Havel wasn't a Eurosceptic while alive, but given his views and the recent actions of Eurocrats it seems to me Havel would be wondering if the current EU had any more clothes than the Communists..............

One day closer to the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ and definitely a good time to make peace with God through Him....going to be a wild decade Worldwide, methinks.
16:31 December 6, 2012 by Leo Strauss
@ DavidtheNorseman

Thanks for the quote.

Peace to you and to all.

Be Blessed. :)
23:28 December 6, 2012 by Clarissa Smith
»"Without free, self-respecting, and autonomous citizens there can be no free and independent nations. ...."

Havel wasn't a Eurosceptic while alive, but given his views and the recent actions of Eurocrats it seems to me Havel would be wondering if the current EU had any more clothes than the Communists......«

__________________________

The greatest threat today is the unpolitical citizen, David. This is a problem within nations, as there is the same problem on E.U. level. The E.U. Parliament actually is pretty powerful, but if the majority of the European citizens don't pay attention, the "Eurocrats" can get out of control. But this danger does exist on the national level as well. Comparing the E.U. to the old Soviet Union is pretty popular, but basically nonsense. Bunch of shallow honky-tonk malarkey.
01:37 December 7, 2012 by DavidtheNorseman
@Clarissa

I'd have to respectfully disagree, Clarissa, with respect to Brussels. Due to the UK holding out (not legally having signed Lisbon, but practically by refusing to hand over defense etc to Barroso) Europe isn't operating yet like the USSR but that old appointed and not elected Maoist, Barroso, wants to run it like the USSR with no accountability and a rejection of things like Constitutions and Referenda (rather important pillars of Democracies in general). On paper it IS the EUSSR and it is clear from

www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2012/0317/1224313477573.html

that he has no clue as to how free peoples operate. The Hungarians understand only too well how "oversight" like the EU's (where any democratic decisions are "corrected" for the own good of the sheeple) works having been subjected to it as a satellite of the old USSR.........

Anyways that's off topic a bit, I was just curious as to whether or not there WAS anyone who could de facto challenge Merkel's claim...I can't think of anyone but I'm not on the ground in Germany so perhaps there is a real contender I'm just not aware of.
11:22 December 7, 2012 by Clarissa Smith
I find this "soviet-EU" dramatization ridiculously pathetic. It's nothing but a crazy conspiracy theory. Frankly, I don't like Barroso's bio, beginning with communism, then social democracy, and now he's in the conservative caucus. So, to me he looks like the flip-flopper Mitt Romney -- or let's call him the Mr. Edge-A-Sketch from Portugal. I'd like to interview this man and find out about his convictions..... whether he has any....

I feel like Merkel is supposed to be challenged by the Social Democrats. I don't know much about the German SPD candidate, but am very interested. Merkel's coalition with the libertarian FDP caucus looks very dangerous to me: Christian-conservatives going together with free-market-freaks. As a liberal/lefty I hate that!
15:14 December 7, 2012 by ErnestPayne
Time to drop this pilot.
01:03 December 8, 2012 by DavidtheNorseman
@Clarissa - thanks! you are refreshingly honest :-)
11:31 December 8, 2012 by mitanni
"The banksters plan to replace all sovereign nations and their governmental systems with their "system administrators"."

That plan is easy to stop: don't borrow money from them. As long as countries like Greece (and Germany) live beyond their means and borrow money from banks, they are enslaving themselves to banks. And the banks want their money back because it's ultimately not their money, it's your and my retirement funds and savings.
23:12 December 13, 2012 by Bishopbayern
what a wonderful lady! she is a great leader doing a great job! 10 more years!
Today's headlines
Extreme heat causes Autobahn to rupture
A fissure on the Autobahn near Heidelberg. Photo: DPA

Extreme heat causes Autobahn to rupture

The heatwave sweeping across the country may have Germans flocking to the sea this weekend, but the extreme temperatures are also causing Autobahns to break apart. READ  

Nazi island resort to be turned into luxury flats
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Nazi island resort to be turned into luxury flats

A vast Nazi mega-complex meant as holiday homes for German workers and later used by the Soviets as a Cold War barracks is about to be turned into luxury flats. READ  

Greece crisis
'Bundestag must vote on new bailout': Schäuble
A poster of German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble in Athens reads "For five years he has sucked your blood. Now tell him NO." Photo: DPA

'Bundestag must vote on new bailout': Schäuble

UPDATE: Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said on Friday that there would be no quick release of bailout funds to Greece after the country's referendum on whether to accept its creditors' terms on Sunday. READ  

Activists give Dalai Lama 80th birthday stamp
The new Deutsche Post stamp showing the Dalai Lama. Photo: DPA

Activists give Dalai Lama 80th birthday stamp

Pro-Tibet activists have created a new limited-edition stamp featuring the Dalai Lama to mark the Tibetan spiritual leader's 80th birthday. READ  

Women's World Cup
'Germany will crack England': top coach
Star striker Celia Sasic. Photo: DPA

'Germany will crack England': top coach

The manager of European champions FFC Frankfurt told The Local he expects Germany to beat England in the third place play-off in the Women's World Cup, and predicted his protege Celia Sasic will grab a goal or two. READ  

NSA surveillance scandal
Calls grow for govt to act on NSA spying
Chancellor Angela Merkel, the highest-profile German victim of NSA spying, speaking on the phone. Photo: DPA

Calls grow for govt to act on NSA spying

Green Party security expert Konstantin von Notz told The Local on Friday that Chancellor Angela Merkel is failing to restore faith in the German-US partnership following fresh spying revelations. READ  

Germany reach semis of beach volleyball worlds
Ilka Semmler and Katrin Holtwick. Photo: DPA file

Germany reach semis of beach volleyball worlds

Germany's top beach volleyball pair are storming the world championships in Holland and prepare to face Brazil in the semis on Friday. READ  

Environment minister blasts Merkel, colleagues
Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks. Photo: DPA

Environment minister blasts Merkel, colleagues

Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks loosed a broadside against her cabinet colleagues on Friday in a guest article for Die Welt, saying that they had decided to do too little to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in a way that would cost too much. READ  

Greece crisis
BILD polls readers in own 'Greece referendum'
Image: BILD/screenshot

BILD polls readers in own 'Greece referendum'

Tabloid Bild continued its campaign against bailouts for Greece on Friday by calling its own "referendum", asking readers to fill out a poll on whether Germany should keep stumping up. German politicians were divided on how the Greek vote would affect Europe. READ  

Police confiscate WW2 tank hidden in cellar
The Panther tank removed from a cellar in Kiel, with a prosecutors' evidence label attached to its barrel. Photo: DPA

Police confiscate WW2 tank hidden in cellar

Police searched a villa in a wealthy suburb of Kiel on Wednesday and found a Second World War tank, a torpedo and other weaponry in the cellar. On Thursday they were still working on removing the tank. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Police seize pensioner's WW2 heavy weapons haul
National
How to survive the Europe-wide heatwave
Sport
Is Schweini already out of the door at Bayern?
Politics
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
National
Car assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen
Rhineland
Weathermen red-faced over heatwave snow warning
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
Politics
What's really in the Queen's handbag?
National
Germans say USA doesn't respect freedom
National
Yes, you CAN buy adult e-books before 10pm in Germany
VIDEO: Watch a 93-metre turbine crash to earth in slow motion
Gallery
Who's got a shot at the German Film Awards
Rhineland
Anger over 'child-free' beer garden
National
How do you do, Majestät?
National
Man defends right to pee in public with tear gas
Features
The Germans who won Waterloo for the British
Frankfurt
Should Germany ban circus animals?
Hamburg
Where people are having the most sex in Germany
Culture
Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Not this student...
National
Dresden's three-decade-long red light
Politics
Upper house calls for gay marriage now
Berlin
Berlin named 3rd-best city worldwide
Sport
In search of the toughest firefighter
Business & Money
German firms shine for European engineering students
Gallery
Hitler's paintings up for auction
National
German's 70-year search for murdered US pilot
Politics
What the G7 leaders agreed at Elmau
Business & Money
What really makes Germans happy
National
Playmobil builder leaves worldwide legacy
National
The car share that became a drug run
Politics
What Snowden revealed to Germany
Rhineland
Why wolf cubs are being raised by hand
National
Hitler's booze cave found
National
Environment makes Germany worth living in
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,940
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd