Merkel wants to stop Left Party

Alarmed by the success of the Left Party in western German elections, Chancellor Angela Merkel has called a meeting with Kurt Beck, head of the centre-left SPD party, to talk about how to stop the left-wing party's growing popularity.

The German chancellor and head of the centre-right CDU party says she is worried about the popularity of the leftist party in the wake of the Hesse and Lower Saxony state elections. She raised the prospect that the rise of the Left Party would have an impact on the SPD’s own members.

“The contest of exaggerated promises of a governmental cure-all” will end in failure, said Merkel in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Merkel expressed concern that even the left-leaning Hessian SPD leader Andrea Ypsilanti was not able to stop the Left Party’s entry into parliament in the traditionally centre-right western state. The Left Party, whose historical stronghold has been with former East Germans, won 5.1 percent of the vote in the state where Frankfurt, the financial centre of continental Europe, is located.

Since 2005, the SPD and CDU have allied themselves at the federal level in the “Grand Coalition.” Because of a 0.1 percent CDU lead in recent Hesse state parliamentary elections, there is wide speculation over whether the parties will mirror the federal alliance at the state level.