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tv   Quadriga - Merkel Under Pressure How Stable Is Germany  Deutsche Welle  November 24, 2017 1:30pm-2:01pm CET

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o n a very warm welcome indeed to quadriga coming to you from the heart and what a week it has been in german politics with the country plunged into an unprecedented period of uncertainty and upheaval they say after the dramatic breakdown of talks to form a new coalition government that in turn dealt what seemed to be a major blow to angela merkel's hopes of pressing ahead with a fourth term in office fresh elections now look to be the likeliest option and that means it could be months before europe's leading nation has a functioning government so our question on this edition of course is merkel under pressure how stable is germany and to discuss that question i'm joined in the studio by three astute observers of german politics beginning with matthew carney snake who is politico's chief europe correspondent he says germany will remain stable with or without a macro what this crisis shows is how mature. germany's democracy has become also
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with us is judy dempsey senior fellow at carnegie europe and editor in chief of the strategic europe blog judy believes that germany is europe's newest problem the collapse of coalition talks in berlin will have serious repercussions for the rest of the q. and a warm up concern for hundreds of right opinion editor with people newspaper and a contributing writer for the new york times now anna says that germany is not turning into a viable that's perhaps just as well but there is she cautions and you this is day nine for compromise in this country is deeply worrying and it's not. too deep to thank you all for being with us here with me here today in the crowd quadriga studio and let me begin with you have just referred to the new york times the new york times as spoken of germany's crisis it is to extend your newspaper how do you assess the gravity of the crisis well i think to speak in american terms there are
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still enough adults in germany to manage this crisis and i think somebody is going to come around eventually so i don't think it goes very deep but what i am worried about is the political culture and the political culture and the disdain for compromise that we see still fit with the political system that is based on compromise so in the mid term i am pretty much worried that i think we're going to solve this crisis at three it's very interesting a short termism has come to categorize a german politics country even though tense america has been a part. of that we're going to preserve that's right but you saw even even during the start of the coalition talks everybody was trying to get in front of the cameras and we can do this we can give that but i think and as i think the idea of the of the of it a culture of consensus and compromise is giving a way to perhaps political opportunism. matthew well i actually disagree that that's a bad thing i think it is happening but i think it could be it could be
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a good thing for germany because there are a lot of people over the past eight years over the past twelve years even said that you know these big parties in germany they've become much too similar to one another it's very difficult for voters to distinguish between the s.p.d. the social democrats and miracles party the christian democrats and so forth and what we saw over the weekend with the collapse of these talks is that there's a party out there that looked at this potential coalition and came to the conclusion that they couldn't in good conscience continue on with that if you take christian winter the leader of the free democrats at his word and i have no reason not to so i think this kind of soul searching now about the future of germany's consensus driven model might be a little bit over the stage. maybe sort of. now i have to think of the box because if you live here you get used to this consensus you get just this feeling of a certain muddling through actually because over the last couple of years leaving aside the foreign policy the domestic agenda is minimal there is very little
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happening and there's a kind of fatigue and also i think an intellectual critic and the voters they were wondering well what is governing about. what kind of the various political parties offer us maybe this explains some of this support for the far right wing alternative the third germany i'm surprised how sanguine you all are about the current situation the crisis what crisis you to be saying i mean i don't i wrote down a list of words that are being used by your fellow journalists to describe the crisis gridlock deadlock meltdown or political limbo matthew from your current quote at the beginning of the show you seem to be suggesting that it's an opportunity for germany to move on to a higher level of mature democracy a little thing less yeah i mean there is political limbo but this also means that germany is becoming a normal country i mean if you look around europe at the sort of length of time it takes many countries to form a government you don't need to go to the lengths of. belgium which i think to over over a year the last time but you know it's not out of the ordinary to have
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a minority government if you look at denmark they have a long tradition of that there this is a normal democratic process and just because germany has been dominated by these two big parties since world war two doesn't mean that democracy is falling apart you now have more voices in the mix you've got the far right in the mix and people can think about that what they will but you also have the liberals coming back into the bundestag it's going to be a livelier discussion and i think we've seen that in the first sessions of the buddhist talk over the past several weeks it's more interesting to be honest it's real debate people are making you know their points and you can tell the difference between say a call on the one hand and somebody about you. and me saying i was going to say this is true i with you that it was boring for you because we've had two parties that seem to get along pretty well also personality wise and they had a contract and they sort of very in a very german way they went about it and sort of. the bullet point live
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but then when you look at why he blew off those coalition talks it's not i mean the most contested issue in this coalition talks was the refugee policy and apparently the greens really came around and gave the f.t.p. and the christian social union very much so i don't think he really made it about issues it was about strategy and that's what the pressure it's depressing about it that he would not take on the rest of the responsibility to form a government in hard times just so the f.t.p. gets a couple of percentage points plus in the next elections or maybe in four years before we continue let's just go back a little bit in time because this all began this chain of events began with the collapse of those coalition talks that we've mentioned perhaps just perhaps they would do from the very start it was certainly never going to be easy to square the circle and bring together four parties with very different political cultures let's
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have a quick look at how the talks evolved. the german parliamentary association behind the reichstag in berlin for weeks the eyes of germany had been focused on it's about kony and reading lips and thoughts has become a kind of national sport. from the initial talks and got the impression there's a willingness to find common ground. within. at some point everyone had to get down to business starting their own senseless deadlines is not a compromise. i can't shake this is a question that these gentlemen have no real desire to negotiate constructively and successfully if not i should say so. the frustration grew as did the weariness. if i just fall over from exhaustion there's no point in continuing. is the idea of a three way coalition gone with the wind.
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you're shaking your head well i want. my initial comment was how germany's proceed from outside and i think what's happening in germany is extremely bad for the european union because the leader has been waiting for i'm going to record to deliver has been the president of france and then on the call he's given two major speeches about europe and those speeches about europe have been absolutely linked to the german difficult time one of those speeches came two days after the struggling election that's a long speech it was a very disciplined speech was very important because. gave me something that the big siemens deal with china a big frankly german trade deal joint venture deal but he was saying. we need the german relationship we need to be much tighter and he said i'm going to come over when i call and give me your thoughts about your opinion got your government
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together. i'm going to reckon he's never given a serious speech about europe and back home is beijing and now you have to wait a bit more his his options are limited if you think that those options and then it is his options are limited for his big and this is planned for europe. well i mean i think it's true that there is some disappointment on the french side and certainly in brussels and around europe to a degree although i would also say that the expectations of what america would have been able to have done with this three way coalition with the liberals and the greens might have been a little bit high elsewhere in europe because parts of miracles own party were never going to agree and are never going to agree to the kind of broad integration plans that mccrone has outlined not to mention the free democrats who are totally against many of if not all of what he has laid out and when we interviewed lintner recently he compared the macro plan to soviet style economics so i mean there there
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is very well it might be it might might seem a little bit over the over the top but it doesn't it doesn't show really a deep willingness to compromise with france on these issues i do think that they would have to reach some sort of compromise somewhere and i still think that will that will happen and it is certainly true that the europeans are very worried about this not just because of my call but just to keep sort of the daily business of the e.u. running without germany there without a government in germany that has real agenda to see it's going to be very difficult on all kinds of fronts from defense to the euro to the expansion of the e.u. and so forth just to keep things running so i think that is a real issue and maybe that will give president steinmeyer in his discussions with s.p.d. leader martin short some leverage in playing this european card and saying this isn't just about germany it's about europe and taking responsibility for for for the e.u. here. just like to go back just to mention christian
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a couple of times and matthew. you've indicated that you believe that all these of his motives were honorable and pulling the plug on the coalition talks we have no reason to believe otherwise there are many others however who asked the question is christiane clinton who has suddenly become a sort of a relatively central figure in german politics is he charismatic or is he a rabble rouser is here is he a modernizer or is he. another wild fringe populist. i don't think it's a fringe populist but he's certainly an opportunist and i think what what you have to see is that linda took his career and his very young age and all this energy to rebuilding a party from scratch that was kicked out of the one is talk in two thousand and thirteen and was basically at the point of vanishing i mean to the delta and that's what i really give him credit for is that he took up the task and he went for it and he did it and excellent job on that and it was a great campaign and he got the party back into the bundestag and i can completely
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understand that he does he's afraid of his. to crumble again so that's what i give him credit for but yet now he's at the point where he's in the center of what's happening and what's important to the world and so he now has to take on a different perspective and he can stay in to sort of the party perspective on to what is happening in germany right now that and also. i think he's sincere about this the f.t.p. was a terrible you know coalition partner and i'm going to america second coalition it didn't deliver on anything and it became a party of this and of especially bush for interest and i think in the back of it in his mind is i don't want to say the voters again and actually germany is desperately to change absolutely i think we need to move on a little bit now and just have a look at the when we talk about change the big question is what happens next and there are really three options for how this crisis might evolve let's have
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a look at those free options. first scenario medical forms a minority government together with the greens or the free democrats postwar germany has never had a minority government the downside a minority government would have to build majorities case by case second scenario the grand coalition. but the social democrats chairman says no he prefers the third scenario new elections the downside a long period of uncertainty with no real prospect of the vote turning out any differently which scenario is the most likely. let's begin with the scenario of a minority government how promising is that for germany's future for europe's future we're going to what you're both. i think that europe's future not the best option but for a germany it will be an experiment worth trying maybe though i'm not really in
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favor it because i think stability is more important right now but what matthew said about germany sort of falling asleep over the grand coalition it would be really interesting to see a government that really has to work on issues that has to find new majorities on each of the issues it wants to realize so that would really energize the political debate and maybe. also be a good thing with regard to the fringe parties that we've seen springing up maybe also in part for this sort of or done with politics. however matthew there are those i was reading an academic the other day from kill university saying that germans don't favor minority government because he reminds them too much of weimar but also it doesn't promise stability well i doubt most germans living can actually remember weimar at this stage it doesn't have to be as stable as weimar was and if
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it only lasts for a couple of years that might not be a bad thing especially for a party like the s.p.d. which would have time to regroup to rebuild itself it's in complete disarray right now and its prospects if there were a new election are or are pretty dim to be honest so i think that given the options out there for the speedy in particular which has three bad options going back into a grand coalition a minority government or new elections they might decide a minority government with the social democrats would be a minority. if the social democrats got into bed with the with the conservatives in america is considered you've got a grand coalition there the numbers add up. right and they have made clear that they don't want to do that again this was the government we've had over the past four years and still haven't and a caretaker basis and for various reasons they feel that they were voted out the last time they only got twenty percent they lost a huge portion of their voters and so they don't think that they have the
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legitimacy to enter another government and there is something to that and another important point there though is that their membership really is against a lot of rank and file people in the s.p.d. do not want to go into a coalition again although i think many of their m.p.'s would welcome the opportunity and many of their form for former ministers and current ministers would would like the opportunity to serve again but now i think the grand coalition would be so debilitating for germany we have to remember i think the figure is i'm just doing the math in my head but i think the grand coalition the parties that made up the grand coalition that lost out at this last election as you were mentioning they lost fourteen percent together that. you know it's very high but really the social democrats would be moved the same would be no debate no discussion about migration you don't think i could sort of military could deep breath and. and the social democrats would be decimated in the next election if they were visible and enough this past election to be completely destroyed in the next election and so just
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interesting new elections. if one doesn't know the outcome i reckon by going to new elections damaged goods in some ways i think corruption is a minority government give it a try just politics a self-fulfilling prophecy it's also it's going to just going to disappear. give it a try and might be very very interesting so your vote is for the minority government what or what or what about fresh elections on a would do so so that prospect i don't think it would change that much i mean if we look at the service right now if it of course there's going to be some movement and the liberals seem to profit from their step but i think it would still pretty much be around the same figures that we've seen in the last election and for a. coalition of the liberals and the christian democrats to be realizable they would have to gain some six or seven percentage points and i don't see that right now so we'd have pretty much the same situation with two possibilities the
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grand coalition or another john mica coalition and then i think it will be much more likely that we see another grand coalition because there has been so categorical about what he did and this is what he stands for and i don't think he's going to come up with the first the key player of the moment in all of this is we've mentioned him already is germany's federal president for former foreign minister very familiar face many people he's been he's he's had everybody round to his residence here in berlin both you polus he's given them a smack on the legs and send them back out there and said negotiate make it work you know so that could still happen possibly jamaica because. i can't. if you look at the agreed on it was quite radical for the four parties agreed on i mean the tone and the coalition talks was actually the christian social union in bavaria they're facing elections next next year there's a huge power struggle going on inside the very they're having
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a special meeting this weekend and they were just so obstructionist you wonder i mean they were they were looking at german politics and terms of political interest and status in the e.u. they were looking at the provincial interest. though i mean i think it's worth remembering that. the greens are also pretty far apart on a lot of issues and the greens in particular who won a lot of concessions during these talks but the greens were basically in the eighty's born out of opposition to the c.d.u. and to the f.t.p. so they were never going to be easy partners and i think that in the end is really . despite you know the various tactics that might have been at play there i think that really is the basic problem and that hasn't gone away which is why linton has said now that he wouldn't you know entertain going back to that is going to it's interesting i mean there's not the greens and the conservatives they seem such an likely bedfellows but they have they do get along in one of the most important states in germany bad unworkable. and secondly they're going to say divide it in
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any case but then on the day conservatives moved extremely to the left in these negotiations over asylum policy the greens moved also in sending back asylum seekers to safe countries like welcome to this i mean there was movement there but the problem with the greens is that they are so it just. ok just to reduce or no for another word on on first elections and i think so just like you for all of us to map out how long if that is the avenue we go down how long is it going to take before we get there before there's light at the end of the tunnel and we have a new government well this is a big problem because it would take several months it probably wouldn't happen until april maybe late. april sometime around easter is what is being discussed now and in the meantime you would continue to have this limbo with this caretaker government and i think the other factor here is that the german electorate doesn't want new elections and i think they would be very angry if and i said they ended up
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having to go back to the polls in the spring ended up with a very similar result and then you would have to re enter this whole phase of coalition building which would take another couple of months so you would have a government probably until next summer at the earliest and this is where this wonderful long german word politique comes into play sack yeah yeah people being deceived this enchanted disgruntled with the process of politics and it might drive people to the far right exactly it might play into the hands on a of the alternative for germany who would hardly spoken about the mention in the discussion well we don't know yet because it seems like. at the electorate that the f.t. is addressing to and which is sort of a nationalist. electorate and these national liberal vote is what what he's trying to address the owl and he would certainly do so if there were another kemi he would go for it much more than he already did in the campaign that we've seen in the summer so i don't know maybe it would be the other way around and
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some of the f.t.p. voters would go to the f.t. but if that were the case either way or the other way around if i was ok so i think to be wanting. to stop a skeptic party in government and also i think and it is an irish nice thing you are and i think that many macaw and many others in france are very relieved that we don't have a government that contains the f.t.p. so. oh they have to be certainly doesn't it doesn't see itself as years ago i mean they they and this is one of the things that lenders pointed out he felt that he was being personally smirched by the greens during the talks because they suggested that he was years getting certainly the history of the party is not that of a euro skeptic party given you know its support for the euro and other things over judy was running out of time and i would just like to talk about i'm. down but not out certainly not. until america is a fantastic politician but she's had two major bills now one is the election result
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of september and now the collapse the coalition talks and we can certainly angle america is no longer saleable but for her politics has come back with him to tell us that there's no graciousness in politics and matthew it's interesting that your quote at the top of the show i was very intrigued by germany will remain stable with or without. well i think what you're hinting at i mean that you enter this phase now if we do move towards a new elections here with this limbo a lot can happen in this in this period of uncertainty and we've seen challenges to her before from within her party and you know who knows what could happen over the next six months that could be various challenges to her she may decide that she doesn't want to run again after all no no nobody nobody really knows certainly if there is a new election and her party does worse than it did this last time which was already pretty bad compared to the two thousand and thirteen election i think she would definitely have to go is the woman sometimes called the leader of the free
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world the new or the true leader of the free world ana is she what blink. not a challenge from within our party now i think because she has to run again in elections and she might lose another couple of percentage points it already was the worst result they've ever had so i don't i don't think people are going to let her do that and let her fail more and then maybe challenge her sometime next year and that's what i think but of course the damage is done to the image the international image of america ok on a scale we were the was the question we wanted to ask at the beginning of the show is how stable is germany judy on a on a scale of one to ten where one is rock solid in toto is a house of cards where it's germany at this point in time. that's pretty close to rock solid and i think larry's always f.t. and how many refugees something to stories every single day rock solid rock so much time to have to. germinate their own while the other the of the country without
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tectonic so messy what you say. nine. i don't believe i don't know what our viewers are going to forget what i hear bob i'm going to love every minute. seven point two percent about this is the final word of the show this evening well today thanks very much for joining us have you given you plenty of food for which i hope we have join us next week come back to hundred by the show's.
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inseparable. and his violin. together they pushed the boundaries of classical music. taken listen. and find out how it all began. in thirteen schools d.w. . this is you get when you come to learn from but and that's the right to our correspondent he is in central istanbul and by the shellac up there did of his but it will correspond let's bring in a boat check that's good from a poland that's going to be bought up at a correspondent frank for more on those stories in just a minute but first this news just in it's all about the perspective closer d.w. news sasa. in the flower. yes i'm beautiful i've heard it before and it
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never grows old. i'm worshiped from my looks and my scent my looks but here's the thing. life starts with me. you see i feed people. every fruit comes from me. everybody taito me every kernel of corn me every grain of rice me. me me i know but it's true. and sometimes i feed their souls. i am their words when they have none i say i love you without a sound. i'm sorry without a voice. i inspired the greatest of them painters poets pattern makers i've been amused to them all. but in my
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experience people underestimate the power of a pretty little flower. because their life does start with me. and without me. this is news live from berlin a fresh chapter for.


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