Germany Elections: Can Angela Merkel Save Aging, Dying Europe?
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s political party won Germany’s national elections on Sunday and was poised to register close to a majority in German parliament.
Merkel, therefore, is slated to be only the third German leader since World-War II to win a third straight term. The other two leaders to win three terms in a row were Konrad Adenauer and Helmut Kohl, who presided over the unification of East and West Germany and witnessed the dissolution of Soviet Empire.
The final tally and behind the scenes political maneuvering will determine which smaller parties end up in parliament, and which ones will enter into marriage with Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union to form a “grand coalition”.
While Germany and other European countries have gone through the democratic motions, Europe’s debt and demographic crisis has seen no signs of abatement, let alone a healthy reversal.
As the largest economy of Europe and its most populous entity, which way Germany is nudged by the international banking community in order to handle Europe’s debt crisis will determine whether Europeans will be demographically viable or extinct at the end of 21st century.
“This is a super result…I see the next four years in front of me and I can promise that we will face many tasks, at home, in Europe and in the world,” Merkel said, during a closely monitored televised appearance with other party functionaries.
Aware that Merkel may not eventually gain absolute majority, her defeated center-left challenger and ex-Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck, who railed against Keynesian economics during the 2008 financial crisis, said, “The ball is in Merkel’s court…She has to get herself a majority.”
While some within Germany have insisted on austerity and retrenchment, the international banking community led by Bank for International Settlements has been spearheading the charge for more inflationary monetary policies to “boost” growth.
Growth, however, has become a forbidden territory, as Europe is dying out. While native-European deaths far outpace births, immigrant populations arriving by the millions every year from West Asia and Africa are making their presence felt, resulting in a demographic transformation unprecedented since the Mongol Empire under Genghis Khan and Kublai Khan.
Merkel’s electoral coalition won ~42% of the vote, up more than 8% from 2009 elections, based on exit polls and incomplete counts. But it is not clear what exactly are Merkel’s conservatives conserving when German population is well on its way to extinction due to ultra-low annual births and skyrocketing deaths.
Nevertheless, according to Merkel, “We will do everything together in the next four years to make them successful years for Germany.” Well, what about the next 100 years? Has long term thinking and vision completely vanished from Merkel’s mind?
Steinbrueck’s SPD party trailed well behind Merkel’s CDU party at 26.5% of votes, while the Left Party garnered 8.5%. The Left Party includes elements of former East Germany’s political class and staunchly opposes costly NATO military belligerence and bail-outs for bankrupt PIGS (Portugal-Italy-Greece-Spain).
While Merkel touted her second term as “the most successful government since reunification,” most of Europe including Germany is sinking in a tsunami of debt, unemployment and low fertility.
So what are we to make of the German elections and Merkel’s coming third term? Not much, as the crisis that faces Europe goes beyond fiscal gymnastics, monetary heroin and tax adjustments.
It is a civilizational crisis, where the two fundamental life-giving institutions, family and religiosity, are exiting from society, leaving Europe a land facing interesting times.[images from wikipedia and US census]