Tag Archives: Steinbrück

Merkel challenger prepares for tough campaign

GlobalPost, October 19, 2012

BERLIN, Germany — When the collapse of Lehman Brothers threatened to set off a global depression in 2008, Peer Steinbrueck stood shoulder to shoulder with Chancellor Angela Merkel to steer his country through the financial crisis.

The economy performed remarkably well. Although its growth is slowing, Germany’s boom helped make Merkel hugely popular.

Now the former finance minister who was once her right-hand man has a new challenge: to unseat Merkel in an election next year.

Although he faces a tough campaign, he may have a shot. Even though the chancellor’s approval ratings remain high, the complexities of Germany’s political system mean there’s no guarantee she’ll be able to form a government in 2013.

A member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) who was granted his ministerial post as part of a grand coalition with Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Steinbrueck has since emerged as someone who can pose Merkel a serious threat.

Many Germans see him as a safe pair of hands and a very competent crisis manager who helped overcome the financial crisis by introducing a stimulus package and recapitalizing banks. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Germany’s Social Democrats close gap on Angela Merkel with new leader

The Guardian, October 3, 2012

Germany‘s opposition party, the Social Democrats (SPD), has closed the gap on Chancellor Angela Merkel‘s Christian Democrats following the selection of her former finance minister to lead their general election campaign next year.

Polls show that the choice of Peer Steinbrück as the SPD challenger last week has given the party a significant boost in its attempt to oust Merkel. The SPD is now enjoying its highest level of support in a year.

A Forsa survey shows that the SPD has gained three points from a week earlier to 29% after the selection of the feisty, plain-speaking 65-year-old. Merkel’s party dropped three points to 35%.

The combined support for the SPD and the party’s preferred partner, the Greens, is now 41%, marginally ahead of the 39% support for the ruling centre-right coalition.

The polls seem to vindicate the SPD’s choice of the man regarded as most capable of poaching centrist voters from Merkel’s party and its struggling coalition partner, the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP). Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized