In the last lines of "The Hollow Men" T. S. Eliot wrote:
This is the way the world endsI wouldn't be too sure about that, but it's certainly how the German elections have ended.
Not with a bang but a whimper.
Conservative leader Angela Merkel will become Germany's first woman chancellor under a deal that sees Gerhard Schroeder step aside but gives his Social Democrats top posts in a new government, sources said on Monday.A rather uninspiring recipe for deadlock and confusion (comments from before the news broke this morning):
Three weeks after voters gave Merkel's conservatives an unexpectedly narrow win over Schroeder's SPD in a federal election, sources from both parties said an agreement had been struck that would set the stage for a power-sharing cabinet and break Germany's political deadlock.
Not that it matters much for Germany's economic problems. Merkel won't make much of a difference, compared to Schroeder. Still, Merkel would be more accomodating for German-American relations, and less Putin-oriented than Schroeder. However, even Merkel won't send German soldiers to Iraq or Iran (if need be), given Germany's public opposition to such a decision. Militarily, Germany is too weak anyway.We'll see what happens.
Schroeder as foreign minister - I doubt it, even though, as Ray reports, the media speculate on it. A foreign minister Schroeder would offset any improvements in German-American relations a chancellor Merkel might aim for. It is a testament to the confusing policies of the conservative CDU/CSU that they themselves would recommend a foreign minister Schroeder...
I still hope that Schroeder's macho character keeps him from serving as minister under Merkel. On the other hand - the guy is unpredictable, as he has demonstrated numerous times...