Commentary on Political Economy

Friday 22 October 2021


 The result of the German election was known within minutes of the polls closing on 26 September. But the kind of government that will emerge is being decided now, behind closed doors, in intense three-way coalition negotiations. With the Christian Democratic Union (CDU)/Christian Social Union (CSU) humiliated by a defeat of unprecedented magnitude, Olaf Scholz of the Social Democratic party (SPD) is the clear favourite to succeed Angela Merkel at the chancellery.

The real question is the balance of power between the SPD’s two coalition partners, the Greens and the Free Democratic party (FDP). A key issue in those negotiations is who gets the job at the Finance Ministry. The politicians concerned may be unknown outside of Germany, and the battle over who controls the purse strings may not seem glamorous. But it will, in fact, decide the prospects not just of Germany’s next government, but of Europe.

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