Merkel's Popularity Surges put German greens on the back foot



The Greens are struggling to maintain their momentum as the Covid-19 improves German politics.


The party led the elections in Germany last year, but their growth has hampered the resurgence of the Christian Democrats, as Chancellor Angela Merkel has measured up to fight the epidemic. With next year's election, the Greens have fallen below 20%, nearly half the size of Merkel's CDU-led coalition, and co-chairman Robert Habeck, who was once the country's most popular politician, is now seventh.

In the post-Merkel era, it is a shock to those who expect Berlin to witness a phase shift that puts Germany at the forefront of the EU's attempt to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. Instead, the next government only represents a growing shift away from the present.

After next year's general election, the Greens are still the only party that can give a majority of Christian Democrats. But they may not have enough political capital, or with Merkel's potential successors to decide the agenda, especially with green credibility.

"From today's point of view, the Greens are the youngest, most multi-producer," said Thomas Jaeger, professor of politics at the University of Cologne.

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Earlier this year, Berlin insiders said next year's elections could produce the first Green Chancellor, or when French President Emmanuel Macron went for an unprecedented three-hour chat at the February Munich security conference. And meeting with co-chairman Analena Bernbach. In January, Habeck entered the World Economic Forum in Davos.

After emerged from the anti-nuclear movement and the Left Front in the 1980s, Merkel worked with the Social Democrats for eight years before coming to power in 2005, and she has no secret of her hopes of returning to power. Please.

The party gradually moved to the center - on the 40th anniversary of January, when former Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaubel called him a "dead normal" party. He established himself as a major force in German politics. Even after their recent fall, they are still the second most popular party in the country.

"We have been at that level in the last European elections, which has historically been our best result," party political managing director Michael Kellner said in an email. "If it goes up or down a few percentage points, we're not crazy."

'I'm not sure'

Whether the Greens can return to the status quo before the CDU vote next year depends on the economy and climate, as well as the virus.

The international climate crisis, like another severe drought or last year's fire, supports young and urban professionals, and the CDU is also of unknown size, fighting for the first election in a generation without Chancellor Merkel

On the other hand, chronic recession means fighting for the Greens, who still look inexperienced on the economy.

"I'm not sure it's the right party at the right time for Germany's prosperity, uncertainty, and fear," said Richard Martin, a former member of a small IT company that runs a suburban area in Berlin.

The party is not entirely composed of both a positive attitude to immigration and a clear appetite for power. "They've lost authenticity," he said.

New challenges

The epidemic has given the Greens new challenges for a while, and they are beginning to be taken seriously as a mainstream power.

At first, he supported the lockdown, but later concluded the deal to criticize the social inequality of the actions, and later Corona needed to make the world a more equitable and stable place. On a recent TV talk show, Habeck highlighted the need for a big pig.

The main problem, however, is that those in Berlin and Brussels have entered the traditional green zone with billions of euros for climate policy as part of efforts to boost the economy.

But his future as a coalition partner for Merkel's CDU is still irrelevant in Berlin. Last but not least, the party's current partner is determined to go against restructuring the SPD when the current term ends. This means the Greens still have some purpose.

“It is clear that the Greens do not have the authority to pursue the climate agenda they want,” said Emers, a political science professor at the Free University in Berlin, in a phone interview, Oscar Niedermayer. "But they also have an important bargaining chip because there are no other alliance options."

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