Angela Merkel will remain Germany’s chancellor for a fourth consecutive term. The results of the September 24 Bundestag elections show that her center-right Christian Democrats party achieved 33% of the vote, while the runner-up, Martin Schulz’s Social Democrats party, won just under 21%.
But despite the two leading parties being allies of Ukraine, the election results brought a note of concern. It marked a breakthrough for the far-right: anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD) won 13.5% of the vote to become the first ultra-nationalist party to have seats in the Bundestag in the last 60 years.
Hromadske caught up with German politician Marieluise Beck and Die Welt journalist Richard Herzinger during the Yalta European Strategy forum earlier this month to find out what changes the election results could bring for Ukraine.
Marieluise Beck noted the growing power of Russia’s supporters in Germany.
“I would lie if I did not admit that people who are pushing to lift the sanctions [on Russia], their voices are getting stronger,” the politician said. She added that if Germany gives in to Putin’s aggressiveness, it would be harmful not only to Germany, but to all the European countries.
“I hope that the next German parliament will understand that,” she said.
But overall, Beck — a former member of the Alliance ‘90/The Greens group who is resigning from active politics this parliamentary term — says that Germany’s course will not change.
“The politics will stay stable, we have the Normandy format, which means France and Germany are working together. There is the wish and the decision to stick to Minsk although everybody knows that Minsk is not very successful.”
Richard Herzinger also spoke about the mounting pressure from some politicians to reconcile with Russia, but stressed that there isn’t a reason to worry.
“As far as Angela Merkel is concerned, the line will be continued. That means: lifting the sanctions only if Russia fulfills its obligations from the Minsk accord.”
/By Maria Romanenko