Angela Merkel: the first female chancellor announces her retirement

During 13 years, Merkel was in power as the German Chancellor, position she used to help solving several crises

Angela Merkel: the first female chancellor announces her retirement

Last Monday, October 29, Germany's Federal Chancellor and one of the world's most important politicians, Angela Merkel, announced that she would not run for the general secretariat of her party (Christian Democratic Union) in December, "nor would she do it as chancellor in the general elections of 2021", as Marca affirms. Merkel, who had held the post since 2005, at a press conference said that "it is time to open a new chapter."

Leer en español: Angela Merkel: la primera canciller mujer anuncia su retiro

The resignation would come after the government crisis that would have suffered before being re-elected. In addition to the unstable results obtained in the regional elections of the federal state of Hesse. There, her party and the parties of her coalition, Christian Social Union (CDU) of Bavaria (CSD) and Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) obtained very low results. "The CDU received 27% of the vote, which is its worst record since 1966, its worst result in the state since 1966 and represents a drop of 11 points since the last elections in Hesse in 2013," as La Tercera states. .

However, the decline of the party is the sum of several factors. For the professor of the Universidad del Rosario Ralf Leiteritz, in dialogue with El Colombiano, within these circumstances, the party changed its conservative policy to a center policy, which means that voters do not differentiate one party from another. However, one of the main reasons for this lies in "her decision to host refugees from Syria three years ago, which led to a resurgence of the far-right party, Alternative for Germany (AfD)", he concludes.

Europe without Merkel

There is no doubt that one of the big questions facing Merkel's exit is to know what will happen to the European Union, since the German Chancellor has played an active role in the resolution of economic and social conflicts.

Austerity in times of crisis was one of the characteristics of her way of governing. Formula that applied within the European Union and with greater rigor to Greece, as a way to try to save it. However, the emblematic woman after the announcement "will have less authority after announcing her departure", as Jean-Dominique Giuliania affirms to AFP.

There is no doubt that her mediating role will be necessary for the upcoming political events. Such is the case of the next summit organized in Brussels in December. There will be discussed issues such as migration policies and reform of the euro zone.

She has been one of the most important leaders within an unstable political framework, which has earned her criticism and congratulations for her decisions. The next person in charge will have to know that Germany's role, as political and economic stability, is important where the outlook is not encouraging.

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We will have to see how a weakened Merkel confronts Brexit, the marked political division and, above all, the migratory flows. What it is important now is that Merkel ends her term to try to keep the European Union afloat.

Who will replace her?

Although Merkel's term ends in 2021, and which is speculated not to complete it in its entirety due to tensions within the party and the doubt of its members, there are four possibilities to replace her. The election will be held on December 7 and 8 in Hamburg.

  • Jens Spahn

He is the current Minister of Health, and he is known to be one of the critics of Merkel's decisions. In 2015, he expressed his dissatisfaction with the policies adopted by Merkel in response to refugees arriving in Germany. As the newspaper La Vanguardia claims, he was named in the position to include young ministers (he is 38 years old), but most importantly to neutralize his criticisms. For the same newspaper, "according to many analysts, he could still be lacking in experience in the eyes of the delegates in the congress".

  • Friedrich Merz

He is the only candidate who has confirmed his nomination for the position. He is the candidate with the greatest intention to vote to take over Merkel’s position. As stated by the Excelsior, "Merz has the support of the most conservative and pro-business sector of the CDU. He was a leader of the party caucus in the Parliament when he was in the opposition, and was replaced by Merkel in 2002".

  • Armin Laschet

He is the current vice president of the party and has been named by The New York Times as "the voice of reason”, given his intentions that the political ideology of the party does not tend to the right. It has the great support of the state with more population in Germany, North Rhine-Westphalia.

  • Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer

Although Angela Merkel has stated that she has no favorites for the elections, there is no doubt that the general secretary of the party is Merkel's natural successor. Her style of government "pragmatic and moderate has led to earn the nickname of MiniMerkel," as The New York Times says. Also and according to El Nacional, Kramp-Karrenbauer "has the support of both the conservative ranks and members of more centrist ideology."

LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz
Translated from “Angela Merkel: la primera canciller mujer anuncia su retiro”

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