Germany still does not have a government with a majority

I wrote after the German election that after her large loss of votes and seats Mrs Merkel would find it difficult to form a coalition. Her own party polled just 26.8%. So it has proved. I drew a contrast with Mrs May and the Conservatives where the  vote went up to 42.4% and who could form a coalition with the DUP.

Two months on she missed the deadline for agreement yesterday.It was difficult enough keeping her coalition with the CDU’s sister party the CSU to take her up to 32.9% of the votes. To consolidate that she needed to reassure on migration which makes it more difficult to get the Greens into a government. The Free Democrats and the Greens also have substantial disagreements with each other over coal, energy generally and approach to business.

It is still possible they could reach an agreement, but the long delays  imply the best that could happen for Mrs Merkel is a weak government with limited capability given the big disagreements between the parties. If she fails to form a coalition her party may want a new leader and there might be another election.

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42 Comments

  1. Prigger
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    I hear Merkel isn’t going to the EU Summit in Sweden. It is said she cannot form a government and that’s the reason.It comes to something when the leading light in the EU is dimmed to Remoaner-level.

    • Nig l
      Posted November 17, 2017 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      Yes. She should sort her own government out and stop interfering in ours.

  2. Duncan
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    I always sleep well when Merkel’s struggling. She’s enjoyed a free-ride for far too many years. It is heartening for all democrats across Europe to see her struggling as it reveals that German democracy is alive and healthy. As with Trump in the US the election of politicians hated by the liberal left media is a triumph for democracy and the people. It shows that the influence and persuasive power of the liberal left media is limited in both scope and reach.

    The German people should impose themselves and dispense with this pro-EU politician whose damaged the interests of the German people, its taxpayers and its citizens

    If Merkel falls the EU is weakened considerably. All democrats should take heart from such a scenario

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted November 17, 2017 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      You sound well informed..

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted November 17, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

        Rien Huizer

        Take it from a German then. Merkel is not universally liked and more and more German citizens are speaking out…something they have been reluctant to do for a considerable time. When speaking to my German family, friends and colleagues, they no longer support Merkel and look forward to her demise!

        What Duncan is arguing is not far from the truth in Germany…there is a different mood now. It will be interesting to see what will become of this situation in the coming months!

        • Hope
          Posted November 17, 2017 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

          Merkel also damages the rest of the EU particularly southern countries. She imposes mass immigration while Southern European countries have mass unemployment, destitution and loss of homes/ business. She impose poverty upon Greece. She could of course helped the citizens of these countries instead of her mass immigration policy which made her own citizens unsafe and allowed her police force to cover it up!

          etc ed
          She is a menace that needs to be stopped.

    • Duncan
      Posted November 17, 2017 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      The pro-EU BBC, the Foreign Office, the upper echelons of the British Civil Service and the Treasury also qualify as a haven for the liberal left. Obsessed with a trans-national agenda, the circumvention of direct democracy and the denigration of the peoples will.

      Their propaganda, liberal left tactics and the playing of the race and xenophobe cards to slander, silent and delegitimise their enemies is a development in politics that I have not seen before in my lifetime.

      It is incumbent on all decent politicians that this style of politics is exposed before it destroys all our freedoms and liberties

      • Timaction
        Posted November 17, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        This is not new and has been a feature of the ruling class since 1997. The Blair regime upon gaining office set about immediate root and branch reform in the civil service , sacking establishment and selecting those on the left with the same agenda. Creating a self fulfilling proficy and renewal with like selecting like ad infinitum. All selection processes were changed and anyone wishing to succeed within the civil service or public sector knew it and had to sell their soles on the political correct dogma (cancer) that now pervades our society. All minorities and groups were given special privilege and status above the average English working man. They legislated relentlessly on a “diversity” agenda to suppress free speech so that anyone challenging this orthodoxy was a racist/sexist or whatever. The perversity of these actions is what we now see on a daily basis in Court rulings, priorities and hiding of backward cultures and practices whilst punishing/ridiculing anyone who dares to challenge this dogma. Facts and our belief system were challenged at each and every opportunity whilst they set about destroying all those institutions we held dear. The Church, nationality, marriage, sovereignty, culture, belief in family, then extended family. We have all these current crises in our housing and public services but we apparently don’t have a migration crisis. etc ed

        • Mitchel
          Posted November 18, 2017 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

          Blair’s hero was Trotsky-his inspiration and desert island read.The permanent revolution of the centre ground.

        • Peter Davies
          Posted November 19, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

          And we have john major to thank forvall this. He who made his party unelectable for 17 years

  3. The Prangwizard
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    We should milk this for as much as it is worth. Maybe Mrs May can find some strength from it to tell the EU where to get off.

  4. Rien Huizer
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Mrs Merkel (she kept the surname of her previous husband, het current one is called Sauer, but probably “Frau Sauer” would be a less appropriate name for a politician.

    Whether she participates in the EU summit or not does not matter. Someone will represent Germany. But the lack of a governing consensus (this is a democratic country with proportional representation after all, not a first past the post one where it is a miracle if the largest party needs help) is not going to help the case of Britain. More likely than not that Germany will agree to a verdict that there has been insufficient progress. And extremely unlikely Germany would promote the opposite.

    New elections would take quite some time and (I happen to be in Germany today and this eems to be the prevailing view among well informed Germans I met): is manily a threat to Merkel’s fixed Coalition partner the CSU (a party that would otherwise fail to meet the threshold. Given that the main issue of conflict is the treatment of already settled refugees’ relatives (following travellers) and that the security situation in Syria is improving, be it under uninspriring government) it is likely that some compromise will be found. That does not necessarily lead to weak government. The main issue is to keep the AfD (the coalition of words deleted ed)out of the position of official leader of the opposition, that the SPD would accupy if the current coalition attempt were successful.

    • forthurst
      Posted November 17, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      I wish Frau Merkel all the bad luck in the world. The SPD are her natural partners as they both represent europhile socialist parties; the AfD is the natural opposition as their policies are more conservative and the natural choice of thinking Germans.

  5. Rien Huizer
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    I should add that the ASfD would be destroyed (as a party, not as a collection of discontents that naturally exists in every democratic country and who in Germany are under a constitution where they can gain some formal power) if it would accept an invitation to goverrn. You can be sure that if they would survive a fresh election (where the contest would be fought truly ruthlessly) they would be invited to join a coalition and that would lay bare that it is a party of discontents led by charlatans. Especially the CSU would (under a new leader as well) reach out to the nationalists and do so credibly if they would be seen as the party that stood for the national interest during the current negotiations.

  6. Mark B
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    I’d doubt there is anyone likely to take her place. She has been quite err, Germanic with the way she has dealt with any rivals;)

    Pleased for PvL and Holland though. They have at last a Government

  7. Anonymous
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Yet the BBC is giving us The Summer That Changed Everything about Jeremy Corybn’s ascent (BBC2 today.)

    We hear nothing of Frau Merkel’s difficulties. Everything is going swimmingly in the EU – apparently.

  8. Tabulazero
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    And very soon the UK will not have a Prime Minister. 2 Ministers down, just a few more to go and then you will all enjoy the pleasure of building socialism in one nation under Corbyn.

    Good luck with that.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted November 17, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      You need to inform yourself about how a General Election can be called in UK, there is no chance whatsoever of an election or a Corbyn government within the next 4 years at least.

  9. turboterrier
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    substantial disagreements with each other over coal, energy generally and approach to business.

    Along with her very flawed immigration policies energy will prove to be another very big stumbling block to highlight how she has slowly but surely has been losing the plot for what is best for her country.

    The pigeons are coming home to roost very rapidly as the country has finally woken up to its green energy flagship policy has failed. They to remain competitive have had to resort to implementing massive investment into burning brown coal. Their ageing turbines now no longer command the huge subsidies they once did and are too expensive to maintain. Like South Australia the costs to all consumers is rapidly getting out of control.

    (sentence deleted ed)

    A lesson for the learning for the UK?

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted November 17, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Turbo
      I would like to know why its OK for Germany to burn dirty coal when the rest of us are clamping down on diesel cars and use of coal? Are they a special case? It would seem to be a case as usual of do as we say and not what we do. I am fed up with the Germans, French and Belgium’s telling uscwhat to do.

  10. Ian Wragg
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    What with Macron being a busted flush and dear old Angela on the ropes, I do feel smug.
    Barnier and Druncker keep digging when already in a massive hole. Life is good.
    Roll on 29th March 2019 and let’s be gone.

    • Mitchel
      Posted November 17, 2017 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      He’s the cover boy in this week’s issue of Time magazine:-

      “The Next Leader of Europe*”

      (“*-small type-If Only He Can Lead France”.

    • margaret howard
      Posted November 18, 2017 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      You are welcome to Mrs May and Damian Green.

  11. Bert Young
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Merkel knows her days are over and her rival parties simply jockey for positions . Germany has lost its strong voice and influence in the EU . From now on it is merely a matter of time before the “united Europe ” falls apart .

  12. Jason Wells
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    That’s what you brexiteer wreckers would like now is another election in Germany, hoping of course that a new government might be more ameniable to the UK position. But I am afraid it is much too late in the day now to be wishing a change in German politics could have any impact on the way things are at the moment. Today and all this week is crunch time for UK/EU and discussing local German politics is only a diversion and at most more like whistling pass the graveyard or pie in the sky.

  13. Andy
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Message to Merkel: “You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go”.

    • Hamster sandwich
      Posted November 17, 2017 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      I hear Merkel in desperation is warming to the Greens. It could mean the EU using the 100,000 hamsters in this country and getting them on their nocturnal treadwheels powering the lights of the BBC.

      • margaret howard
        Posted November 18, 2017 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

        Better than paying a £1b bribe to a party like the DUP to get 10 votes.

  14. bigneil
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    ” Roll on 29th March 2019 and let’s be gone. ”
    At our age Ian there is a good chance of that.

  15. Epikouros
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    The West is complete dissaray which is no surprise given that it has reached a point that the Western Roman Empire reached in the twilight of it’s existence. Rotten, corrupt and leaderless or at least few leaders of any value. Like Rome Merkel and others extended succour to those on it’s borders demanding entry occasioning first a trickle, then a flood and then a complete takeover. Although today it is and will be accompanied by violence it will hopefully not be on a scale experienced then. However we cannot predict the future but German voters and populist parties that now are sprouting everywhere are not sanguine about it. They are also not sanguine about the arrogant, incompetent and unethical actions of many of the powerful individuals and vested interest. the rich and influential that have now arranged to have so much control over our lives.

    • Mitchel
      Posted November 18, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      Actually the end of the Western Empire was non-violent-they just gave up and Roman identity dissolved.The real slaughter came a couple of hundred years later when the Eastern Empire tried to recover Italy from the Goths and Lombards.Hmmmm.

      Interesting that both left and right opposition parties in the EU tend to look to Russia than westwards.When the EU collapses and takes the centre with it,I believe we will see the historically inevitable union(in whatever form) of Russia and Germany which will severely discomfort the Anglo-American establishment.

  16. Andy
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    However weak Mrs Merkel is she will still be stronger than Mrs May. The German system promotes collaboration and debate. It has done well for Germany – they are richer than we are. The British system promotes division. I loathe UKIP – ( words left out ed)- but at their peak they should have been represented in Parliament – they were kept out by a flawed electoral system which benefits only the Tories. It is in their interest not to make the system fair. I live in a safe Tory seat. The Conservatives could put a lamppost up as candidate in my constituency and it would win. Fortunately my MP is, currently, the agreeable and sensible Dominic Grieve. I wouldn’t vote for him – even the best shade of blue is horrid – but it doesn’t matter anyway as my vote does not count. I – and the vast majority of people – are disenfranchised by the system. The majority of us did not vote for Mrs May and her hard Brexit cronies. But the 57% do not count. Mrs May is controlled by her hard-right fringe who represent only themselves.

  17. AdamC
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Why should we be concerned about the german government..we voted to leave to get away from all of that and here we have JR discussing their situation at length.

    Reply Because we are not yet out of the EU and they are part of the EU negotiation

  18. Bob
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    The Mail reports that Sajid Navid is blaming the housing crisis on “mortgage free baby boomers”.

    No mention of mass immigration or stamp duty rates that prevent liquidity in the market though.

    Why are people that understand basic economics like our host confined to the back benches while idiots like Hammond and Sajid Navid are promoted to ministerial positions?

    Anyway, in case he missed it: £1 Homes
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-stoke-staffordshire-41981871

  19. nigel seymour
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    J, I don’t give a shit about Germany. I’m a Spitfire man not a Messerschmitt man. We fought TGW and WW2 to protect our democracy and freedoms of British peoples. The mood music now seems to be about the EU telling the UK what we can and can’t do under Brexit!!. I hope that DD doesn’t collapse under pressure and capitulates with more and more concessions? (his words today, not mine!!) . I think it likely that, come March 2019, we will have ‘some sort’ of deal. My fear is that your rebel backbenchers will do all they can to hold up our exit in the hope that more and more remainer’s gain political ground so as to overturn the referendum. The EU have a bit of history in bullying countries to change their minds, so as to continue with EU federalism, divide and rule, look after the corporate and liberal vested interests.

  20. Ian Pennell
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,

    Whilst Theresa May does have a Majority with the DUP, there is not a Majority of proper Brexit-supporting MPs, with the result being that Brexit is constantly undermined by pro-Remain Conservative MPs and Labour, which has decided as a Party to completely frustrate Brexit. The Remainers know they have a Majority and are calling the shots – forcing Theresa May into U-Turn after U-Turn. The latest is the climb-down over enshrining 29th March 2019 as the date we officially leave the European Union into law. The EU leaders know that the Government is weak, which is why they are holding out for more money!

    This is what Theresa May should now do: Tell any Remain-supporting Conservative MPs that voting against vital Brexit legislation will bring an end to their time as Conservative MPs with a by-election triggered in their Constituencies – so that they are replaced by Conservatives likely to support Brexit fully. Any serious threat of Dissent at this news should be met with the threat of a new General Election with the Conservatives running on a platform of leaving the European Union totally, not paying them a penny more and using that money to help fund our Public Services better. Since Labour have apparently capitulated on their 2017 Election promise, I believe that there is a real chance of Theresa May regaining her Parliamentary Majority with all Conservative MPs properly committed to Brexit in the new Parliament. The very threat for such Remain-supporting Conservative MPs to have to face the Electorate, or of being de-selected should bring them into line.

    Theresa May needs to stamp her authority on the Conservatives soon, otherwise we will end up with such a Pigs-Ear Of A Non-Brexit that the Conservatives will lose the next Election heavily – and the Conservatives will be out of power for a generation! I do not want to see that happen.

    Regards

    Ian Pennell

    Reply Parliament passed the crucial Repeal of the 1972 Act clause by 318 to 68

  21. nigelR
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    IT seems now that Germany is not playing as big a part in the negotiations that we thought they would. IDS was sure that the car workers would put pressure on Mrs Merkel to come around to our way but it hasn’t happened- she didn’t even attend the talks in Sweden today

    It appears France has also taken a back seat and Macron is not to be seen either- anyway I didn’t see him on any of the news clips so it looks like they are leaving it all up to Junker Barnier and Verhofstadt and Co. Well at least that narrows the field a bit- but how to come to an agreement by Tusks early december?- I don’t think it’s possible

  22. Original Richard
    Posted November 17, 2017 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Because the two biggest parties in Germany, the CDU/CSU and the SPD, formed a coalition it meant that Germany was without an effective opposition, if one at all.

    As a result Mrs. Merkel could do as she liked and was able to unilaterally and illegally invite millions of unchecked migrants into Europe, without doubt the biggest mistake any European politician has made since WW2.

    • rose
      Posted November 18, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      She broke international law, EU law, and German law. What is the penalty?

      • hefner
        Posted November 18, 2017 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

        Could you please provide the relevant articles (at least their references) of the international law, EU law and German law that were broken by Mrs Merkel?

        Thanks a lot in advance.

        • rose
          Posted November 20, 2017 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

          International Law: The Geneva Convention (see section on refoulement.)
          EU Law: The Dublin Agreement
          German law: The German Constitution, 1993 amendment.

          To summarise the last: protection is not availabe to anyone entering Germany from safe states, i.e. all 9 of Germany’s neighbours. For this to be changed, the Bundestag would have to over-rule the Dublin Agreement, but it never did and Frau Merkel was not entitled to do so by herself.

          I believe her administration could be sued by her own countrymen, and neighbouring countries may also consider they have a case against her.

          • rose
            Posted November 20, 2017 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

            You might also like to consider the following:

            Cheating on diesel engine emissions with no mis-selling compensation paid to EU car owners, as they have had to do in the USA.

            Continuing to build coal fired power stations using a very dirty form of coal known as lignite whilst others are closing down all their coal fired power stations.

            Running a very large trading and budget surplus for many years against Eurozone rules and causing massive youth unemployment in southern Eurozone countries which in turn has been a factor in causing unwanted and unnecessary migration.

            Not spending 2% of GDP on defence, thus relying on taxpayers of other countries to fund NATO.

            Supplying gas turbines to Crimea against international sanctions.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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