Sunday

23rd Sep 2018

Merkel to seek fourth term to face off populism

  • Merkel was recently praised by outgoing US president Obama as an "outstanding partner" (Photo: Reuters)

Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel has said she will seek a fourth term in office in next year's election to defend democratic values in the face of growing threats globally and at home.

"We are facing struggles in Europe and internationally for our values and our interests and, simply put, for our way of life," she told journalists at the headquarters of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

She was reluctant however, to be hailed as the new leader of the West.

"I am indeed honoured, but I also find it grotesque and even absurd," she told reporters in Berlin, that some have suggested she should be considered the new leader of the free world.

"No person alone, even with the greatest experience, can change things in Germany, Europe and the world for the better, and certainly not the chancellor of Germany," she was quoted by Reuters.

New life

Th EU's longest serving leader, in power since 2005, has seen her popularity drop after she decided to let hundreds of thousands of migrants into Germany in 2015.

The right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) cashed in on voters' anxiety about migration and terrorism. She has also seen a revolt by her sister-party the Bavarian CSU, which wanted to put a cap on migration.

There had been speculation that she might not enter the race for a new term.

But with uncertainties created by Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as US president, her allies hope German voters will rally behind the long-serving chancellor.

"Merkel is the answer to the populism of our time," Saxony state premier Stanislaw Tillich of the CDU was quoted by AFP.

According to a poll for the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, 55 percent of the electorate want Merkel to stay in office, up from 42 percent in August.

A survey by the Emnid research institute on Sunday put her CDU party at 33 percent, down nine points from the last national election in 2013.

The centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), junior partners in Merkel's grand coalition, were at second with 24 percent.

AfD and the Greens were tied in the race for the third-largest party with 13 percent and 12 percent respectively.

“Germany cannot afford another term for Angela Merkel,” Frauke Petry, leader of AfD wrote on Twitter.

Merkel urges Trump to respect 'values'

Germany and France have appealed to Donald Trump to respect “shared values”. They “still don’t get it”, a former EU diplomat said.

Merkel calls for Muslim veil ban

German chancellor endorses partial ban on the full-face Muslim veil amid tougher talk on migrants to rally the support of Christian Democrats ahead of a tough election next year.

EU parliament will not budge on office expenses

Hungarian centre-right MEP Livia Jaroka sticks to earlier decision: documents related to the minor reform of the expenses system, requested by EUobserver, should remain secret.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  2. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  5. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  6. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  7. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  8. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  9. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  10. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  11. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow

Latest News

  1. Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK
  2. Wake-up call on European Day Against Islamophobia
  3. Sound of discord at 'Sound of Music' Salzburg summit
  4. Salzburg summit presses for bigger Frontex mandate
  5. UK's post-Brexit plan 'will not work', EU says
  6. Airbnb agrees to clarify pricing for EU
  7. Libya keeps coast guards rejected by the EU
  8. EU divisions on menu at Salzburg dinner

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us