17th Feb 2020


Merkel aims to win third term this WEEK

  • Merkel's Europe: four more years? (Photo: Felix O)

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Germany (prosperous, fed up with EU bailouts) and her Europe (hesitant, wracked by austerity) will be put to a vote in German general elections on Sunday (22 September).

Polls tip her to win a third term and to form a coalition with the centre-left SPD party.

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But southern EU countries might be hoping for a socialist Chancellor, who would soften austerity and agree to joint EU borrowing, or "eurobonds."

Meanwhile, several big EU dossiers - such as banking union, eurozone governance reform, bailout changes and defence integration - are on hold until the result is in.

The Lithuanian EU presidency is also waiting on who to invite to its summit with former Soviet states in November.

If Merkel wins and agrees to go, they expect other EU leaders to follow.

In Brussels, European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso will meet Greek PM Antonis Samaras on Tuesday amid talk of a third bailout for Athens.

The commission will on Tuesday unveil new measures to combat "legal highs," or, alternatives to cocaine and ecstasy.

It will propose legislation on Wednesday to combat rigging of inter-bank borrowing rates, such as Libor and Eurobor.

It will also outline plans for a European Public Prosecutor, a new body to fight fraud in EU funds, in the European Parliament's civil liberties committee on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, MEPs on the foreign affairs committee will on Monday discuss who should get the 2013 Sakharov Prize for human rights. Nominees include US super-leaker Edward Snowden and Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai.

In other events, EU energy ministers will meet in Vilnius on Thursday to discuss freeing up the EU market and bolstering external energy security.

Top EU officials will meet with Somalian President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in Brussels on Monday on how to help put the war-torn country back together.

Foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton will also meet Nato head Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who is based up the road in the EU capital, amid preparations for a summit on EU defence pooling in December.

Bavarian elections spell trouble for Merkel

Merkel's sister party, the CSU, has won regional elections in Bavaria, but her Liberal coalition partner fared poorly in a bad omen for the Chancellor.


German elections: Little change for EU

Merkel seems set to win a third mandate on Sunday. But whatever the outcome, Germany's stance in Europe is unlikely to see a dramatic shift.

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