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People and Politics Forum 17. 09. 2010

"How can the German government overcome its current crisis?"

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More information:

Lost identity – The Christian Democrats and Free Democrats face internal crises

The debate over conservative values intensifies within the CDU, with chancellor Angela Merkel accused of shifting the party towards the center. Meanwhile there is growing discontent among FDP members who blame party leader and German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle for the party’s slump in popularity. It’s a tough return from the summer break for the coalition.

Our Question is:

"How can the German government overcome its current crisis?"

René Junghans, Brazil, says some real talk is in order:

"The best way to overcome a crisis is for party leaders to come together and discuss their differences at length. If an agreement based on common interests and defining priorities isn't possible, the only thing left to do is call for new elections to choose better representatives – ultimately, the people have the last word. It's a shame that Mrs. Merkel no longer seems to be able to keep politicians [of the coalition] in line. Even so, she's always been a highly capable woman."

For Herbert Fuchs in Finland, Germany's coalition government is a bad match:

"This forced political marriage between Angela Merkel's CDU and Guido Westerwelle's FDP is a terribly sad combination. I think the search for identity fell by the wayside somewhere, and you can imagine the result: a waste of time and effort. Cooperation between the CDU and FDP leaders doesn't seem to work – to the detriment of the public. Hopefully it'll soon be time to throw in the towel and reshuffle the decks and deal again, for the good of Germany."

Martin Burmeister, Venezuela

"First of all they should stop arguing among themselves in public. Then they need to explain to the population what the advantages of the law are. For example most of the talk about keeping nuclear power stations running longer focuses on the economic aspects for the companies which own them and not about the facts about supply and demand, for example that renewable energy will not cover the demand for electricity in 2020. And in the case of Stuttgart 21 people are always talking about the high costs instead of pointing to the advantages in the form of work and contracting companies. The government has to talk more about the successes which are plain to see."

Waltraud Maassen, New Zealand:

"There are too many egos clashing in the current government. Chancellor Merkel is not being supported by her male colleagues, they are torpedoing her. The worst is Westerwelle. He is so pompous and full of rhetoric. He gets involved in all the domestic political issues and is weak on foreign policy. Angela Merkel should demand more responsible behavior from her CDU/CSU deputies and delegate instead of governing alone. But Merkel has another fault. She tries to sit things out like her old boss, but that doesn't work anymore and she does not have the thick skin or political sense of Helmut Kohl. Frau Merkel, please focus on your strengths! That's how to serve Germany the way you promised when you took office."

Axel Werner, Germany:

"More common sense; less listening to the financial lobby, credible work for a more attractive Europe, and Gauck as candidate for president. In short, these are all opportunities which were missed completely."

Egon M. del Monteluna, Mexico:

"One solution might be if the government tried telling the truth for a change. How can German voters stand being ”soft soaped” by politicians‘ speeches and listening to devious attacks on people who come out with the truth even when the topic is unpopular. Unpopular contemporaries like Thilo Sarrazin and Erika Steinbach must not be victimised just for touching on sore points or pointing out the governments‘ shortcomings, even if they do sometimes forget their ps and qs. I would be glad to be able to speak my mind freely and openly again in my home country."

Paul Schaller, Argentina:

"Those in power must realise that they represent the people. They must stop dancing to the tune of big business and the finance sector as quickly as possible and stop solely representing their interests."

The editors of "People and Politics" reserve the right to abridge viewers’ letters.