In Germany, the stablest and most powerful country in the European Union, the federal government is at its weakest. Expectations for Germany are also rising, especially in the wake of the United Kingdom's secession from the EU, and in these days, as the number of those who do not consider Emmanuel Macron fit to lead France, or the EU, grows.
France's thrill-seeking steps, contrary to EU policies, rightfully appall the EU public, while Germany has come under the spotlight. Germany is being asked to take more effective leadership in the EU, as is the case with Libya. In contrast to the policies pursued by France in Libya and Syria, Germany tries to solve the problems in these two countries with effective diplomacy with the EU and on behalf of the EU.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is deeply troubled that Khalifa Haftar, the dictator-wannabe who has tried to take over Libya with the support of terrorist groups, has failed to comply with the Berlin conference resolutions. Likewise, seeing that the Syrian regime, which has massacred its own people with the support of Russia and Iran in Syria, especially in Idlib, is about to create a new refugee crisis for all of Europe, Berlin leans toward Turkey's call for help to establish a safe zone.
However, the federal government in Germany, which is expected and supposed to be effective in dealing with these two major problems and many other issues, is increasingly losing voter support – which undermines Germany both within the EU and on an international level.
Merkel's party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), has 27% of the vote in the latest opinion polls. With just 12% of the vote, coalition partner the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) is experiencing the worst time in its history. The SPD is currently in danger of gaining even fewer votes than opinion polls predict in the case of an election. Worse still, neither party has candidates for chancellor that would excite voters in the federal election, scheduled for autumn 2021, thus hurting their votes.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who was elected president of the CDU so that she would be a candidate for chancellor as the great hope of the CDU and Merkel, has already failed and thrown up the sponge, announcing that she would not run for chancellor. In fact, this was expected. After all, two candidates who had previously lost in the race for the party's presidential nomination against Kramp-Karrenbauer and a provincial government prime minister were already working hard to make that happen, and they succeeded. However, these three figures have little chance of generating new excitement for Germany when they become candidates for chancellor. Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn, head of government of the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) Armin Laschet, and former CDU Bundestag Group Chairman Friedrich Merz are not alone in this race. Markus Söder, chairman of the CDU's sister party, CSU, has also been involved in the race.
Merz, who is the luckiest of these four figures, has the full support of economic circles in Germany. However, he and others are not in a position to win the election as familiar figures in the eyes of voters. Merkel has her work cut out for her. Let us see to whom Merkel, determined not to run again, will hand over the task.
The situation in the SPD is much worse. There is currently no candidate for chancellor. It is also difficult to find an assertive figure within the SPD who would want to take on the nomination at the moment. After all, who would want to go down in history as a candidate with no chance of winning?
Considering that Germany will assume the EU term presidency in July, it will not be easy to shoulder such an important responsibility with a federal government that is so weak and has no future.
While the parties forming the federal government are in a serious crisis over the candidate for chancellor in Berlin, the Greens have no such problem. The Greens, who have had voter support as high as 21% in recent months' opinion polls, are now the second-largest party in Germany. They are already in power as coalition partners in many states. Moreover, a minister president from the Greens in Baden Württemberg, one of the richest states in Germany, has been riding high for two terms.
Robert Habeck, co-chair of the Greens, who is already recognized by the voters as an author and has received considerable attention recently, has a fighting chance as a candidate for chancellor. He is currently the second most popular figure in the eyes of the electorate after Merkel.
With around 15% of the vote in the latest polls, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) is now clinching its position as the third-largest party, which is causing a growing number of voter segments who are concerned about democracy to lean toward the Greens. In neighboring Austria, the Greens coming to power at the federal level by forming a coalition government with the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) has been another positive development to push the German electorate toward the Greens.
It seems difficult to form a government without the Greens as a result of federal elections due in fall 2021. It would not be wrong to say that Robert Habeck will either be chancellor or vice chancellor.
The vote percentage of the CDU and CSU will determine whether a Greens politician can become chancellor for the first time in Germany. If the CDU and the CSU achieve a good result despite the AfD, then a coalition government of CDU, CSU and Greens will emerge, perhaps mathematically, as the only remedy. This is because we cannot imagine that the SPD can take part in a government with the CDU, the CSU and the FDP which would guarantee it will disappear completely.
In the alternative case, a coalition government of the Greens, the Left Party and the SPD under the leadership of a chancellor from the Greens may have a chance in Germany, though it would be a bad option.
Of course, even though all this seems to be coffee fortunetelling at the moment, it is better to prepare for the Green chancellor model. If this green chancellor is to have the support of the Left Party, it will not be good for Germany, the EU or the world in many ways.
If the economic circles in Germany are losing sleep over this, we can say they are right.