Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) won a major victory on Sunday, but its favorite coalition party, the Free Democratic Party (FDP), fell short of the five percent it needed to win seats in the Bundestag.
Without the FDP, Merkel will likely have to form a coalition which includes the Soclialist SDP, or the Green Party. Voters rejected the Greens, seriously reducing their percentage, but the Greens still won enough votes to win seats.
The pro-business FDP would have been most likely to offer constructive solutions to the huge costs imposed by the German Energiewende. Global warming and renewable energy policies have caused a huge increase in German electricity prices and limited the ability of German industry to compete in global markets.
While Merkel has been tough on trying to prevent EU nations from evading their public debt, she has not been as tough on reforming German energy. Indeed, she caved in to the Greens unnecessarily when she announced plans to end nuclear energy in Germany after the Fukushima disaster. Let us hope that Germans who are cutting down forests for fuel, or defaulting on their electric bill, are cheered that they will soon be protected from the threat of tidal waves.
During the campaign Merkel did take a strong stand against Green nanny statism, taking particularly effective aim at their calls for a national vegetarian day. Merkel would have none of it and basically told them the Greens she had been told what to do enough during her years under East German Communism. This struck a responsive cord with German voters who punished the Greens at the polls and in large numbers backed CDU.
Will a newly empowered Merkel be able to finally grapple realistically with Germany’s energy needs? Can she assemble a coalition which is able to do so?