Germany may have lost the role of Europe’s “bulwark of stability” as the “boring” politics of the Angela Merkel era is brought to a close-by lost month’s inconclusive election result. Ms Merkel is soon to leave office after 16-years and a narrow defeat for her CDU party means the future government is yet to be decided. Negotiations to form a new governing coalition have begun in earnest between the Social Democrats, who narrowly won the vote, the Greens, and the pro-business Free Democratic Party.
Professor Kayser told Express.co.uk: “Germany’s role in Europe of being kind of a bulwark of stability and politically a little bit boring could actually shift.”
He explained that new voting patterns showed party support for the major parties in Germany becoming more fragmented, increasing the influence of more minor parties.
“With these new alignments, it is also made more difficult because two of these parties are difficult to pull into a coalition because they are fairly extreme although they do not get so much of the vote,” said the German political expert.
“But never the less it would be unthinkable AfD (Alternative for Germany) get into government and less unthinkable but also very fraught to bring in Die Linke (The Left), who also by the way lost support.”
Professor Kayser added: “I am not really sure whether this was an election about preserving the status quo and continuity in the sense of the Merkel years.
“One could argue that two of the biggest gainers in this election were the Greens and the FDP.
“Especially with young voters, they cleaned up they did very very well with young voters.
“That is a cry for change these were both opposition parties that don’t have so much in common honestly but they do overlap in some areas.”
Meanwhile, Germany’s Social Democrats began in-depth exploratory coalition talks on Monday with two smaller parties and expressed confidence that the three would form a new government this year following an inconclusive national election.
The centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) narrowly beat the conservatives, whose outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel has governed since 2005, in the Sept. 26 federal ballot, but did not win a majority.
The SPD is seeking to form a coalition with the Greens and the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP), which finished third and fourth respectively in the election.
SPD vice chairman Kevin Kuehnert expressed optimism that a “traffic light” coalition – named after the party colours of the SPD, the FDP and the Greens – would be formed this year.
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“I am very firmly assuming that this will happen,” he told broadcaster ARD. “The talks have started well, very trusting.”
Unlike many other European countries, where the president or monarch invites one party leader to try to form a government, in Germany it is up to the parties themselves to decide who should ally with whom.
Their decisions will determine Germany’s political future after 16 years with Merkel at the helm, its appetite to shape Europe’s largest economy for the digital era, and the extent of its willingness to engage with allies on global issues.
The FDP does not want to raise taxes, putting it at odds with the Greens and SPD, though the two smaller parties worked hard to find common ground and a basis for working together in initial bilateral talks.