‘Merkel era is OVER’ | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

15 November, Thursday


‘Merkel era is OVER’

Angela Merkel’s ally and the potential successor has launched her leadership bid by declaring that the German Chancellor’s “era is over”.

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The battle to be the next leader of Mrs. Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union is heating up and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, dubbed mini-Merkel, has thrown her hat in to the ring.

Speaking at a press conference after entering the leadership race 10 days ago, Ms. Kramp-Karrenbauer announced her decision to step down as the party’s general-secretary to dedicate her time to the contest.

Ms. Kramp-Karrenbauer is seen as Mrs. Merkel’s personal preference for the party leadership and future chancellorship.

She said: “This is the end of an era with which I associate many personal relations and personal experiences

"But that era is over, and such an era can neither simply be continued nor be reversed.

“The decisive question is what you do with what you have inherited that is new and better."

Ms. Kramp-Karrenbauer also spoke about Mrs. Merkel’s decision to open Germany's doors to migrants fleeing war in the Middle East in 2015 - a move that still divides the bloc and Germany.

She said: “It is not issue number one, but it's there as an issue, and there's no point not talking about it.

"But if you think you can have the discussion with the idea that you can reverse what happened in 2015, we have to be honest and say ‘what happened in 2015 is reality, it's a fact’.

“The second point is, and we have to make this very clear, is that very early after 2015, we worked to make sure that what happened in 2015 would not happen again, something I saw and helped work towards as state premier."

Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer announced that by accepting the nomination, she would be stepping down as Saarland's state premier.

She said: ”We're experiencing one of the most difficult political phases in Germany's history.

"I believe that one shouldn't only talk about responsibility in such times, but should also be prepared to be personally engaged.”

Mrs Merkel, 64, announced her decision to quit as chairwoman of the CDU party last month but delayed resigning as Chancellor of Germany until her fourth and final term in 2021.

The decision was a major U-turn for Angela Merkel who previously stated that the top job was inseparable from party leadership.

Her decision to quit German politics in three years’ time will eventually start a race within the party to succeed her as chancellor. 

But experts predict Mrs Merkel will be forced out as Chancellor of German a lot sooner than planned.

Citi's economics team led by Christian Schulz said: “We expect Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to succeed Merkel as CDU leader.

"We expect that elections will be held in the second half of 2019 and that some form of centrist coalition emerges.”

Members of the CDU will make a leadership decision at a party conference between December 7-8.

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