A quick rundown of German election news. Handelsblatt says the result is awaited with great tension, which perhaps tells you more about Handelsblatt than anything else. They also have a discussion of the coalition position.
In fact, in a sense, the coalition talks have already begun; the Ministry of the Interior has essentially made its opening bid, by issuing a list of demands for more surveillance and anti-terrorist powers. As the CDU is hoping to go into coalition with the FDP, this is probably best understood as setting a position from which they can bargain down. The FDP is predictably unimpressed.
There’s a row in Nordrhein-Westfalen, where the CDU prime minister is accused of spying on the SPD (he’s the one who was quoted as saying that Romanians couldn’t possibly assemble mobile phones). This is mostly important for his future career in the party; he’s standing for re-election in May and is a possible successor to Angela Merkel, if he doesn’t blow up.
Merkel, meanwhile, finished the election campaign by firing up the CDU activists with a speech about how Germany needs stability before anything else. Did anyone find this campaign a little dull? In fact, it’s not quite as bleak as that – she was referring to Adenauer’s 1957 campaign. The last polls, meanwhile, put the CDU/CSU on 33, the SPD on 25, the FDP on 14, the Left on 12 and the Greens on 10.
Both the “traffic light” and the Left/Left/Green option are level with or ahead of the CDU/FDP option; even if the FDP officially doesn’t want to talk, this may alter their calculations somewhat.
Der Standard has a look at the flashmobs that have been following the chancellor’s campaign, cheering at odd intervals and shouting out randomly selected words. (In the UK, it’s the other way around – the candidates shout nonsense at the public.)
Al-Qa’ida’s opinion of the elections has been made known through a video; among other things, they threatened the terrors of the earth if a majority of Germans don’t vote for withdrawal from Afghanistan. A majority of Germans appears, going by the polls, to be unimpressed. Several foreign governments took him more seriously and issued warnings to travellers.
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