The German election could provide a surprising result as Angela Merkel’s successor leads a disastrous campaign. Armin Laschet, an ally of the outgoing chancellor hitherto described as a “male Merkel”, has let his party the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) languish in the polls. For the first time in 15 years, the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) led by Olaf Scholz edged out the conservative CDU in the polls. A recent poll found the SPD comfortably in the lead with 25 percent of voters expected, while Merkel’s CDU only has 21 percent.
Whatever happens, however, Germany will likely be ruled by coalition parties again, which has become the norm in Berlin.
One possible outcome is for the SPD to lead a coalition with the Greens and the Free Democratic Party (FPD).
EU foreign relations expert Susi Dennison told Express.co.uk that a key issue will be Germany’s approach to the European economy.
She says the EU’s stimulus fund during the pandemic “pushed the Germans to the brink” of what they would tolerate.
Ms Dennison said: âThe stimulus package was accepted by the German public, but it pushed them to the limit of what they were comfortable with.
âI think even though Scholz will be more responsive to EU beneficiary states such as Spain and Italy, I wouldn’t expect much more leniency than we’ve seen before.
“In addition, the FPD will likely be in government and play a decisive role on this issue.”
Germans have long been politically skeptical of plans for a common European debt, but Chancellor Merkel backed the stimulus fund last year as a one-off measure to tackle the economic damage from the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, this met with opposition in Germany – opponents had asked for an emergency court ruling to suspend the fund, pending a full ruling in their legal case.
But the court declined to grant it, saying a cursory examination had not revealed a high likelihood the loan would violate Germany’s constitution.
The court said in a statement: “The inconvenience that results if the temporary injunction is not issued but the [Own Resources Decision] subsequently found to be unconstitutional are less serious than the consequences that would occur if the interim injunction were issued, but the constitutional complaint is subsequently found to be unfounded.
READ MORE: Election polls in Germany: SPD accused of “hiding” left wing co-leader
The expert from the European Council on Foreign Relations also believes that Mr Scholz is trying to emulate Merkel’s ability to reach out to all political horizons.
Ms Dennison continued: âI think Merkel is known to be a consensus builder, I think this is necessary in German politics because of the standard of coalition governments and the practice of building a coalition agenda.
“I think we will see a similar approach from Scholz on this front, but it will also be necessary on his part politically to show that the Germans have not just elected the same government again.
“The areas in which he tried to put the water between himself and Merkel were in the climate agenda, where Merkel was seen as significantly under-fulfilled.”