Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel started her re-election campaign with a meeting in medieval city of Seligenstadt. Notably, on the eve the iron chancellor appeared in a new image. She gave a guest lecture to school students about the history of construction of the Berlin Wall, which was erected on August 13, 1961 at the order of the state officials of the USSR.
It will be reminded that Merkel comes from the German Democratic Republic. Although Merkel is leading in ratings quite confidently, the first pre-election meeting was hard for her. It was attended not only by the supporters of CDU/CSU, but also those who were ready to boo the politician. Merkel called upon the voters to think about really important problems faced by today’s Germany, thus criticizing the program of German Green Party. “Today you must decide what is more important for your life: those who call upon you to refuse from eating meat on Thursdays or success we have achieved in the past eight years while I was a chancellor: the number of unemployed has dropped from five to three million people,” she stated. It will be recalled that the leaders of the Greens, who have launched their election campaign, urged the Germans to eat less meat for the sake of ecology and pay more taxes for the sake of the future. Thirteen percent of voters are now eager to support the Green Party.
It turned out that the scandal connected with the American Surveillance Program PRISM did not stay in the past, casting shadow on the Right Centrists who are currently in power in Federal Republic of Germany. The candidate from German Social Democrats Peer Steinbrueck has started his campaign as well. With his team he visited the island Norderney. However, the SPD stands little chances to win: Right Centrists are 15 percent ahead of their major rival. The beginning of Merkel’s campaign successfully coincided with publication of new statistic data which showed a more confident economic growth in Germany and Eurozone than the experts expected.
As is known, Merkel is taking quite a rigid stand concerning Ukraine, demanding to release the former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko from prison. However, the head of the Institute of World Policy Aliona Hetmanchuk opines that she is the best candidature for chancellor out of all possible in Germany for signing the Association Agreement and is able to make a strong-willed independent decision, made not under pressure of an external player.
According to Stefan REINECKE, parliamentary correspondent of German newspaper Die Tageszeitung, “These elections are crucial for entire Europe, for Merkel holds on many things. Besides, she is extremely popular: her credibility rating is 60 percent. This is the way Germans assess her confident work during the debt crisis in the Eurozone. She has found way out in most complicated situations in Germany and Europe, on the whole. Implementation of the program of severe economy in the countries of Southern Europe was her merit. Merkel helps to find a solution during the financial crises in Portugal, Spain, and France.
“The Social Democratic Party of Germany and German Green Party are in opposition to Merkel. Her main rival is Social Democrat Peer Steinbrueck, who has liberal views. In home policy the chancellor has seized the initiative from the oppositionist Social Democrats and the Greens, having fulfilled their election promises: refusal from nuclear energy, raise of minimum wages, and boosting the social security. But her actions frequently arouse contradictory reaction. Therefore she’s looking for happy mean, because German society is divided into two camps in many questions.
“But her main thesis at these elections is to keep the stability of Euro and avoid similar crises in the future. Angela Merkel has actively taken up her election campaign: she is meeting and communicating with people, seeking to ensure support among broad layers of the population. In particular, she has delivered a lecture about the Berlin Wall at Berlin’s Heinz-Berggruen-Gymnasium. German Social Democrats are trying as well to get the attention of their voters: the canvassers are visiting people’s homes and call upon people not to be lazy and to come to elections. They are sure that the SDP has electorate reserves which just need mobilization. As for improving relations with Ukraine, Merkel is not against this, but the problem is that she is against Europe’s enlargement, that is why she was against Turkey. I am not sure Steinbrueck’s position concerning Ukraine will be the same.”