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Merkel: only I can steer Germany in rough seas
Photo: DPA

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

Chancellor Angela Merkel kicked off her bid for a third term on Tuesday, telling her party that only she could steer Germany through "turbulent times" and touting her government as the best in two decades.

"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)

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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!
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