Germans yearn for change – Atlantic Sentinel


Armin Laschet, Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia, attends a Bundesrat meeting in Berlin, Germany, December 18, 2020 (Bundesrat / Sascha Radke)

The Germans want change. 61.5% would like to see a different government after the September elections, according to an Allensbach institute survey; the highest share in thirty years. 67% think it is time to correct the policy.

The results are sobering for the ruling Christian Democrats, who have nominated Armin Laschet to the chancellery. The Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia proposes the sixteen-year continuity of Angela Merkel. (I think the Tories should have named Markus Söder, from Bavaria, much more popular and semi-foreign.)

They explain why support for the Greens has increased. Recent surveys place the party – which has never been the largest in Germany – either neck and neck or in front of the center-right.

Merkel’s legacy

When I tried to explain why the Greens are on the rise a month ago, I argued that it wasn’t that Merkel’s muddled centrism was bad for the time. However, that did not solve the problems.

Germany produces fewer university graduates per capita than its neighbors. Its 4G network is one of the worst in Europe. Investments in rail are insufficient. Billions of euros spent on a Energiewende at best equalized Merkel’s decision to phase out nuclear power, which increased her reliance on coal and natural gas. Just before the pandemic, the World Economic Forum demoted Germany from third to seventh place competitiveness index.

Merkel rarely answered questions about Germany’s identity or place in Europe for fear of stirring up old passions. As a result, many Germans felt that changes, such as a million refugees and bailouts from weaker euro states, had occurred. at them.


Allensbach’s figures confirm this: they found that more than half of German voters would support major changes in climate and immigration policy.

This helps explain the popularity of the Greens, who would phase out coal faster, shut down the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline with Russia and invest an additional € 500 million in digitization, infrastructure and emissions neutrality.

It also helps explain the popularity of the far-right Alternative for Germany, virtually unchanged at 11-12% since the last election and concentrated in the former East. He also pleads for a break, if in the opposite direction to the Greens.


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