Angela Merkel announced years ago that her current term as German chancellor would be her last. And federal elections, set for September, are still months away. But if current opinion polls bear out, the country—and by extension the continent—could be headed toward political chaos.
Merkel has ruled Germany with a steady hand since 2005. As the leader of the most powerful country in the EU, many people on both sides of the Atlantic looked toward her for leadership on the world stage during the Trump era. Her departure will shake up Germany’s political coalition, and right now, it’s the German Green Party that appears poised to benefit the most.
Merkel has for most of her time in government been forced into “grand coalitions” between her own Christian Democratic Party (CDU) and the Social Democrats (SPD), as she has been unable to secure a majority for her own party in parliamentary elections. The latest grand coalition was formed in 2013. Now, both parties are crumbling in the polls.
Why did the ‘grand coalition’ fail?