German Chancellor Angela Merkel made the statement we expected, albeit a bit early. This was no surprising development for Daily Sabah readers who have read our recent comments about Germany and the chancellor.
The attitude of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the sister party of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Bavaria, and its chairman, Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, toward the asylum seekers' policy - almost turned into a rebellion against their own chancellor - and was a sign that Merkel's days were numbered. Moreover, Chancellor Merkel had lost the support of not only of the CSU but also her own party the CDU.
Finally, the state elections in Hesse, which resulted in the CSU's defeat in the State Council elections in Bavaria on Oct. 14, followed by the CDU's great defeat due to their federal policy despite being successful in the state on Oct. 28, caused Merkel to make the announcement that "she no longer wants to run for CDU chairmanship" earlier than planned.
If there had been a federal election last Sunday in Germany, the polls would have suggested a 25 percent vote for the CDU/CSU and 14 percent for their coalition partner the center-left Social Democrats (SPD).
On the contrary, the Greens in the opposition would have gotten 20 percent, followed by the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) with 16.5 percent, the Left Party with 11 percent, and the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) with 9.5 percent. Even these suggested figures are actually a declaration of the end of the Merkel period!
This development had already been observed and expected in Germany since the last elections. Therefore, the total time devoted to Angela Merkel's speech at the press conference of the European Union Commission this week was only 34 seconds.
Chancellor Merkel had been in a very weak position in the EU for a long time. Now this situation had worsened. Of course, a chancellor who has lost the support of her country and is no longer elected chair by her party also complicates the position of Germany in the EU. This also means a new era for the whole of the EU.
Now, not only Germany, but also the whole world, especially the EU, is curious about the future chancellor of Germany. Who will follow Merkel? Well, the German media has already started to discuss the answer to this question with its unique style. A debate has begun around four names in relation to the CDU's congress to be held in Hamburg in December.
Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn, 38; CDU's former federal parliamentary group chairman Friedrich Merz, 62; CDU Secretary-General Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, 56; and North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) State (Lower Rhine-Westphalia) Prime Minister Armin Laschet, 57, appear to be Germany's new candidates for the next chancellor.
However, the media has already begun to wear down the candidates with questions such as "Could a homosexual be the leader of the CDU?" regarding Jens Spahn, "Is a millionaire the right fit for the chancellor?" for Friedrich Merz, "Is a woman, who did not take only the surname of her husband who cares for the kids at home, but also uses her maiden name, the right chancellor for the CDU?" for Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, and "Will a person who does not speak German (High German) properly, but speaks in Rhine dialect, make the right chancellor for all Germany?" for Armin Laschet. We will watch and see the outcome.
However, there is one more truth, which is that the SPD, the ever-dissolving partner of the great coalition in a federal government without Merkel, will not accept the new chancellor who will replace her.
The SPD base is already in favor of moving to the opposition, demanding that the dissolution of the party be stopped. If the great coalition breaks down, no one should expect early elections. Because early elections will be complete "suicide" for the wounded CSU, the CDU whose new leader has not put on a sufficient profile, and the SPD that is not ready for any election at the moment.
Therefore, the possibility that the CDU/CSU will establish a "Jamaican Coalition" with the Greens and the FDP should not be underestimated. However, the "price" of the Greens that reached 20 percent and an FDP that is very aware of its being needed will be very high.
In short, a difficult period awaits Germany for the next period. We will consider what this new era means for the EU in the coming weeks.
There is no need for a great deal of concern in terms of the relations between Germany and Turkey that have improved in a way that pleases us all in the last period. Because the route of the German "tanker" does not change easily. We will discuss this issue in the coming period.