Attempt number two: can Merkel to form a government?

BERLIN, November 29 – RIA Novosti, Margaret Kostiv, angelina Timofeeva. The political crisis in Germany on the background of the failed negotiations about the formation of the government of Jamaica has forced the Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to step out of the shadows Executive functions to sit at the table of negotiations with potential participants of the “Grand coalition” — party Alliance CDU/CSU and the Social democratic party of Germany.

Steinmeier November 30, will hold a General meeting with party leaders — Angela Merkel (CDU), Horst Seehofer (CSU) and Martin Schulz (SPD). Merkel and Schulz, formerly preclude the possibility of participation of the social Democrats in a “Grand coalition”, but later changed its position, already expressed readiness to begin negotiations.

On the night of November 20 the Free democratic party (FDP) came out of weeks of talks on forming a parliamentary coalition with the CDU/CSU Merkel and “Green” (coalition “Jamaica”). “Jamaica” in case of success of negotiations would have 393 of 709 seats in the Bundestag (55%), but after the liberals remaining participants in the negotiations have only 44% of the seats without getting a majority.

If negotiations on forming a coalition will not succeed available there are two options: a minority government, which in German history has not been, and new elections, which never showed up so quickly.
The SPD will hand over positions?

“The SPD will give positions and will enter into “Grand coalition” following the meeting on Thursday,” — said RIA Novosti Professor at the University of göttingen and co-founder of the Institute “Dialogue of civilizations” in Berlin Peter Schultz.

According to experts, Steinmeier, which supports the idea of a “Grand coalition” will do everything “to achieve a reasonable, practical and pragmatic solutions”. This means that he will try to convince the CDU/CSU to exclude the agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt at the government or in any case not to include it in the new government because of the scandal with glyphosate. As for the SPD, the President will try to persuade former colleagues in the party to refuse to go into opposition, which September 24, said the leader of the SPD, Martin Schulz.

Thus, according to Schultz, the two “people’s party” are on the brink of a global debate in connection with the personnel changes – if Schultz under pressure from the President will change his position and agree to the formation of a “Grand coalition”, it “means a severe blow to his position in the SPD”. Merkel came under attack — not so much because of the election results, but because of the scandal with glyphosate. The fact that the Minister of her government, the Minister of agriculture acted contrary to her vote – “this has not happened,” said Schultz. Questions about the successors of Chairpersons of the CDU and the SPD can be delivered “in a year or two,” predicts the expert.
Can Merkel save the authority?

“While there is much uncertainty. If Mrs Merkel will not be able a second time to form a stable government, shaken by her own power, her own position once she actually failed to create “Jamaica”, it should be for the sake of preserving his authority in the country to be able to form a government with the SPD,” said RIA Novosti the German political scientist Alexander Rahr.

According to Rahr, the social Democrats do not want to return to a “Grand coalition” with the CDU/CSU, because over the past four years they have lost considerable support of the population, which began to regard the party “only as an assistant of Mrs. Merkel”.

“Therefore, the auction will be very hard. The social Democrats will try to get for themselves as much as they can, will put very strict requirements. And the Christian Democrats, too, can’t have too far to go into the arms of the social Democrats,” — said the expert.

He believes that the social Democrats would have gone for a minority government led by Merkel, but is not ready to walk the Chancellor. “All the issues will have to go cap in hand to the social Democrats and other parties, to be blessed in one way or another share. It’s humiliating,” said Rahr, noting that Germany was “in a protracted political crisis.”

According to the analyst, the negotiations between CDU/CSU and the SPD on forming a government will last long, and the government is unlikely to be created at the end of this year. “If will be created, in January, in February, but on the basis of, say party leaders, I can hardly imagine a workable government, so I think there will be new elections”, — concluded PAP.
Glyphosate poisoned politics

The technical Committee of the European Commission after a moment’s hesitation approved Monday a renewal of the permit to apply the herbicide glyphosate for another five years. The previous license was due to expire on 15 December. Glyphosate (also known under the trade name “roundup”) is now the most popular herbicide in the world. It was developed by Monsanto in 1970, and since 2000, when the expired patent, issued under different names by other manufacturers. According to research of some experts, glyphosate can cause cancer.

The German Minister of agriculture Christian Schmidt in the vote supported the renewal of the license, contrary to the prior position of the German government, said on 28 November, incumbent Chancellor Angela Merkel. She stressed that he personally supports the position of Schmidt, but called his actions “unacceptable to work for responsible government.” The Minister of environment of Germany Barbara Hendricks, which is included in the SPD, said that he had repeatedly told Schmidt that Germany would not support further use of glyphosate. The social Democrats called the actions of Schmidt’s “stab in the back” on the eve of talks with Steinmeier on the possible early preliminary negotiations on the establishment of a “Grand coalition”.

“Politics is poisoned with glyphosate,” said RIA Novosti political analyst, Professor at the Institute of political science Otto sur Nils Diederich. He added that the scandal with Minister Schmidt mixed the cards and have aggravated any predictions for the meeting, Steinmeier with party leaders, “at best, in the coming days, the CDU and the SPD, changing negotiators, agree on the solution, but I’m pessimistic”.

Diederich did not rule out that Steinmeier directly offer Merkel to withdraw his candidacy for the post of Chancellor in the new government. According to the expert, the President may refer “to another person of the CDU”, which “will be able to negotiate with the social Democrats”, for example, the current head of the Bundestag Wolfgang Schaeuble or to the current Minister of Finance Peter Altmaier. But more likely Diederich considers a variant in which the SPD would put forward the condition that “a new attempt to create a government can only be a new candidate in chancellors”.