Wednesday, November 22, 2017

EXCLUSIVE: ANGELA Merkel Has “No Vision” for Germany and Was Totally Unprepared for Coalition Negotiations, a Politician Involved in the Failed Talks Has Revealed
22:48, Wed, Nov 22, 2017

Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann has hit out at Angela Merkel over failed coalition negotiations
Germany is currently facing political turmoil as negotiations to form a government with Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) and the left-wing Greens, fell through on Sunday night.

Mrs Merkel's 12-year hold on power was shaken at the September elections, partly by the arrival of the anti-immigration AfD party in parliament.

Four weeks of talks to build a so-called Jamaica alliance collapsed at the weekend with Mrs Merkel set to remain acting Chancellor until a government is agreed.

But the German leader has come under fire for her actions during the failed talks.

Dr Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, a FDP MP who was involved in the negotiations, said the Chancellor had achieved a lot for Germany during her time in power but seemed to have run out of ideas.

Speaking exclusively to, she said: “With all respect for her achievements, the Chancellor now seems to have no vision for the future of Germany, which should be competing not just in Europe, but with the great powers and the biggest countries in the world.

“I have the feeling that she has no vision but is now only reacting to what is already there.

“To make a country like Germany fit for the future, a few more ideas are needed. I suspect that she has run out of ideas.”

Mrs Merkel's political career could hang in the balance after she failed to put together a governmen
Dr Strack-Zimmermann’s party, the FDP, ran for election on a platform of modernising Germany, embracing a flexible jobs market and digital-focused employment.

However she said it was difficult to bring these ideas into coalition discussions, and expressed disappointment at the way negotiations had been handled.

She said: “The collapse of negotiations is not because the CDU and FDP could not come together.

“The bigger problem was that although the Chancellor had a mandate to form a government, she had no plan for it, no red lines that we could orientate ourselves around.”

Given the huge policy differences between the FDP and the Greens, Mrs Merkel’s prospective coalition partners, the Chancellor should have been leading the negotiations and trying to bring them together, Dr Strack-Zimmermann argued.

She said coalitions talks were poorly-run and lashed out at Mrs Merkel’s decisions to discuss the fine details of some policy areas when not even a broad consensus had been agreed on others.

Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) who were members of the previous government under the 'grand coalition' are under pressure to consider offering talks to Mrs Merkel's conservatives after pledging to go into opposition.

Mrs Merkel has said she would prefer to work with the SPD. If that failed, she would favour new elections over an unstable minority government.

Dr Strack-Zimmermann, who represents Düsseldorf at the Bundestag, said: “The Chancellor has really achieved a lot for Germany over many years.

“But I think she was unprepared for negotiations and thought that after a ‘grand coalition’ it would be a simple matter of swapping partners. The SPD is gone, now the little Greens and the little FDP will come in, and things will carry on.

“I think the Chancellor underestimated us. For the first time in her life, she completely miscalculated.”

Dr Strack-Zimmermann did not rule out a CDU-FDP minority government to resolve the current situation, but said she felt a CDU-Green coalition would be more likely.

She said polling for the FDP was strong even after the collapse of negotiations, and the party was confident of a good result if it came to a new round of elections.

Queen Elizabeth II meets German Chancellor Angela Merkel at Buckingham Palace on February 27, 2014 in London, England.

It comes amid speculation Mrs Merkel will not be able to remain as Chancellor for much longer.

Green Party founder Hans-Christian Ströbele said, whatever the outcome of the current political situation, be it new elections of a minority government, he does not think Mrs Merkel will be presiding over the Bundestag for long.

In an interview with Swiss website Watson, he said: "The end of the chancellorship of Angela Merkel has already been announced by the outcome of the general election.

"Now Merkel's political end can indeed come very quickly. In my opinion, Mrs Merkel will not be able to stay at the top of the government for much longer.”

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