The German election results have been a shock to the world, with the far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD) taking first place. What does this mean for Germany’s future? What are the implications of these new leaders?
The germany election results 2021 is a blog post that discusses what’s next for German leadership.
Here’s what you should be aware of:
Official preliminary results showed the Social Democrats leading in Germany’s election, with no party gaining a clear majority and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats are a political party that was founded in are a political party that was founded in are a political party that was founded in seeing their vote share plummet. CreditCredit… The New York Times’ Laetitia Vancon
For a brief time, he seemed to be the chancellor. Olaf Scholz was the obvious winner of the night as he stood on the platform surrounded by ecstatic supporters shouting his name and praising him as if he were Germany’s future leader.
Mr. Scholz had just accomplished the unthinkable: he had led his long-dormant Social Democrats to a slim win in the most tumultuous German election in a century.
But, as if winning wasn’t difficult enough, the most difficult phase is still to come.
Mr. Scholz may have won the election on Sunday, but three out of every four Germans voted against him and his party. Despite his victory against the incumbent chancellor, Angela Merkel’s powerful conservative party machine, there is no guarantee that Mr. Scholz will become chancellor. And if he does, he’ll almost certainly be a weaker leader, preoccupied with wrangling numerous coalition partners as well as dissident elements inside his own party.
In Germany, a new age in politics has started, and it looks quite different. It’s also tough. Germany’s political environment, once a haven of drowsy stability where chancellors were in power for 16 years, has splintered into numerous parties with little size difference.
“This is a historically unique situation,” said Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff, vice president of the German Marshall Fund, a think tank headquartered in Berlin. “German politics is undergoing a fundamental shift.”
Mr. Kleine-Brockhoff described the situation as “a multidimensional chess game.”
Instead of two strong parties fighting for a spot in government with one much smaller partner, four midsize parties are now vying for a spot. For the first time since the 1950s, the next chancellor will have to secure the support of at least three distinct political parties in order to form a government.
Last but not least, Mr. Scholz’s conservative runner-up, Armin Laschet, may yet win the presidency.
Mr. Laschet, whose unpopularity and campaign gaffes led to his party’s lowest-ever election performance, intends to do exactly that.
Mr. Laschet said a “arithmetic” victory was no longer enough to claim the chancellery, despite calls to accept loss on “moral” grounds.
Mr. Laschet told reporters Monday that no one should act as if he could form a government on his own. “Whoever can assemble a majority to support him will be named chancellor.”
It would not be the first time that a chancellor was elected without a public vote. Even though they lost the general vote, Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt, both center-left chancellors, established administrations.
Those precedents, however, did not apply to the complicated multiparty talks that are about to begin in Germany.
Mr. Scholz, who has served as Ms. Merkel’s finance minister and vice chancellor for the past four years, is entering a fiendishly complicated process in which the power to choose the next leader almost entirely rests with the two smaller parties that will be part of any future administration: the progressive Greens, who had their best result in history with 14.8 percent, and the pro-business Free Democrats.
Another first was the announcement by the Greens and Free Democrats that they would meet to conduct discussions before of any talks with the larger parties.
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Germany’s mainstream conservatives, long the nation’s dominant political force, experienced their worst loss in history in Sunday’s election, faring substantially worse in every region of the country than in the last election, in 2017.
Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, received just 24% of the vote, down almost 9% from four years earlier. They won votes in just two of Germany’s 16 states, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg in the south, down from 13 in 2017; in many states, they finished third.
The most significant advances were achieved by the Social Democrats and the Green Party.
The German DAX stock index remained unchanged on Monday, as investors decided that the country’s economic outlook had not changed much as a result of Sunday’s election. Credit…Reuters
Investors value consistency and stability, which they witnessed in the German election on Sunday. The euro and German stock indices hardly moved on Monday.
In a statement released Monday, Christian Kahler, chief financial strategist at DZ Bank in Frankfurt, stated, “Germany will not have a divisive head of government like Donald Trump in the United States or Boris Johnson in the United Kingdom.” The two most probable candidates for chancellor, Social Democrat Olaf Scholz and Christian Democrat Armin Laschet, “stand for continuity in German politics,” according to Mr. Kahler.
For the most part, Germans avoided extremists, dividing their votes among moderate parties in such a manner that no one party can claim dominance. Many businesspeople were relieved, but there were also murmurs of dissatisfaction that the vote produced no clear winner strong enough to address Germany’s eroding competitiveness: its lagging investment in digital technology, high energy prices, and slow response to climate change, as well as its reliance on trade with China.
Some business leaders and investors were concerned that the vote might result in a left-wing administration comprised of the Social Democrats, Greens, and the far-left Die Linke. Die Linke’s support, however, was insufficient for the three parties to form a governing majority.
The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) lost popularity as well, but it gained momentum in the eastern German states of Saxony and Thuringia, where it was the most popular party.
The Greens, whose main concern is climate change, and the Free Democrats, a pro-business party that fought against overregulation, are expected to form the next administration. Neither the Social Democrats, who received the most votes, nor the Christian Democrats, who came in second, seem to be interested in forming a coalition as they did in the previous two elections.
If they don’t, neither party will be able to form a government without the backing of the Greens and Free Democrats, whose views may conflict.
In a note to clients, Oliver Rakau, an economist at Oxford Economics, projected that the Greens would push for quicker action on climate change and investment in digital infrastructure, while the Free Democrats will insist on deficit spending restrictions.
“A dramatic U-turn on key domestic or European problems is unlikely,” Mr. Rakau added.
Last month, Tessa Ganserer spoke with reporters in Berlin. Ms. Ganserer was one of two transgender candidates elected to the House of Commons. Credit… Getty Images/John Macdougall/Agence France-Presse
Despite the fact that the name “Tessa Ganserer” did not appear on the ballot in Sunday’s election, Ms. Ganserer won a seat representing a Nuremberg district, becoming one of just two openly transgender persons elected to the German Parliament.
Because she refused to comply to the country’s 40-year-old legislation demanding a medical document before a person may officially alter their name and gender identity, she had to run under the name her parents gave her at birth.
Nyke Slawik, a 27-year-old trans woman, was also elected. Both are members of the Green Party, which has a good possibility of forming a coalition government.
“Crazy!” Ms. Slawik expressed herself on Instagram. “I still can’t believe it, but I’ll be in the next German Parliament as a consequence of this historic election outcome.”
“It was the election campaign of our lives, and it was worth it,” Ms. Ganserer, 44, said on her Facebook page. Yesterday, the old, outdated way of thinking was punished.”
Germany approved same-sex marriage and gay parent adoption in 2017, as well as a partial prohibition on conversion therapy, which attempts to alter a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
This year, the nation outlawed procedures aimed at assigning infants to certain sexes based on their sex traits at birth. That implies parents can no longer make that decision; children will have the opportunity to make their own decisions later in life. However, legislators turned down two measures presented by the Greens and the Free Democrats that would make it easier for transgender individuals to self-identify more broadly.
They are now obliged to acquire a medical certificate under the country’s Transsexuality Law, which was enacted in 1981 and costs hundreds to thousands of dollars. One of Ms. Ganserer’s first objectives in Parliament will be to alter the requirement, which opponents say is both stigmatizing and expensive.
During the campaign, Olaf Scholz, the Social Democratic candidate for chancellor, criticized the Christian Democratic Union for the previous government’s inability to alter the medical certificate legislation. Rights advocates are optimistic that the combination of a Social Democratic-led administration and two trans MPs would spur change.
Christian Lindner, the German Free Democrats’ presidential candidate, speaks during a press conference in Berlin on Monday. Credit… Shutterstock/Martin Divisek/EPA
It created a small stir when Christian Lindner, the leader of the pro-market, anti-regulation Free Democrats, stated shortly after the election that he would speak to the pro-regulation Greens about forming a government together.
Despite the fact that the Greens came in third place in Sunday’s election and Mr. Lindner’s FDP, as it is called in Germany, came in fourth, they hold the keys to the chancellery together. They received more than 26% of the vote combined, implying that both will be required to create a majority coalition and a new government.
Typically, one of the larger parties — in this instance, the Social Democrats, who defeated Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats by 1.6 percentage points – approaches the smaller parties to consider forming a coalition.
Mr. Lindner reversed the script.
Mr. Lindner admitted that the Free Democrats and the Green Party had the “largest content difference,” but said it made sense for them to “see whether this might become a progressive center of a new coalition, despite all the disagreements,” on Monday.
If the two parties can reach an agreement on policy and power-sharing, they may negotiate from a position of strength, essentially deciding which of the two main parties will rule. The two minor parties would be happy to cooperate with either the Social Democrats or the Christian Democrats.
The discussions, according to Robin Alexander, a senior political writer with the conservative daily Die Welt, were a wise move. The Greens and the Free Democrats have been junior coalition partners in the past, but their combined power is stronger than ever.
In 2013, the Greens received 8.4% of the vote, while the Free Democrats fell just short of the 5% requirement for gaining seats in Parliament. The Greens received 14.8 percent of the vote on Sunday, their highest ever, while the Free Democrats received 11.5 percent.
The Social Democrats and Christian Democrats may create their third consecutive “grand coalition,” but that option, which is unpopular in both parties, seems improbable.
The other parties have vowed not to cooperate with the far-right AfD, which came in fifth place. Die Linke, a far-left party, received too few votes to enable the Social Democrats and Greens win a majority.
As a result, the only way for any of the main parties to win a majority is for the Free Democrats and the Greens to join forces.
When it comes to forming coalitions, the Free Democrats have a chequered past. Members of the party walked out of week-long talks with Angela Merkel and the Greens in 2017, triggering the formation of the current grand coalition.
Mr. Lindner remarked at the time, “It’s better not to rule at all than to govern badly.”
Olaf Scholz visits the German Social Democrats’ party headquarters in Berlin, after the SPD’s close victory in Monday’s federal elections. Credit… Getty Images/Sean Gallup
Olaf Scholz, a tired-looking speaker at his Social Democratic headquarters on Monday morning, made it plain that he viewed his party’s substantial election wins as a mandate from voters to lead the next government with the two smaller parties that also made gains in Sunday’s vote.
He said, “Voters have plainly spoken.” “They’ve stated who should form the next administration by bolstering three parties: the Social Democrats, Greens, and Free Democrats. As a result, the people of our nation have clearly indicated that these three parties should form the future government.”
With 25.7 percent of the vote, the Social Democrats made substantial gains, but they will still need at least one additional partner to form a government. The Greens and the Free Democrats both gained seats in Parliament, increasing their representation to 14.8 percent and 11.5 percent, respectively.
However, with German voters supporting a diverse range of parties, the result remained uncertain, with the Christian Democrats clinging to their claim that they can lead the coalition to create the next government, despite losing almost nine points and receiving just 24.1 percent of the vote.
Mr. Scholz, 63, said the outcome demonstrated that people wanted the Christian Democrats and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Democrats, to leave office after 16 years in power under Chancellor Angela Merkel. She did not seek for re-election, and a Social Democrat gained the seat she had held in Parliament since 1990.
Mr. Scholz said, “The mission for us is to accomplish what the people want,” which included “leading a good government that will set the path for the decade ahead, to bring more respect into society, to modernize our industrial sector, and to stop man-made climate change.”
In Paris earlier this month, German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with French President Emmanuel Macron. Credit… Getty Images/Ludovic Marin/Agence France-Presse
BRUSSELS, BELGIAN REPUBLICAN REPUBLICAN REPU Europe, like Germany, will have to wait for the formation of a new German administration. But everyone understands that this will take time – it took almost six months four years ago.
Angela Merkel will stay chancellor until then, which gives her European partners comfort. She’ll very certainly be chancellor at a European Union summit meeting in December. However, since a caretaker administration is obligated to refrain from making any major new choices, Brussels must also exercise patience.
President Emmanuel Macron of France and others want to make major changes to EU policy, and France will take up the presidency of the EU on January 1 for a six-month cycle. However, Germany may not have a new government in place by that time, and it is unclear where that administration would stand on some of the bloc’s problems.
Mr. Macron is also running for re-election in April and will have to focus on the campaign. The assumption in Brussels is that next year’s window of opportunity for major reforms will be limited.
Mr. Macron has a potential to be more powerful in Brussels now that Ms. Merkel is restricted or gone, particularly if he can find common ground with Mario Draghi, the Italian prime minister, while advancing slowly enough to win over the Germans.
While Brussels does not openly comment on European Union member states’ elections, there is widespread satisfaction that whichever German government emerges will be center-left or center-right, free of extremists and strongly pro-European and transatlanticist.
Olaf Scholz, whose Social Democratic Party barely won the German elections, said he supported “a stronger and more autonomous European Union” while also stressing the importance of Germany’s trans-Atlantic relationship with the US. “In this question, you can count on continuity,” he added.
As a result, there will be consistency. However, any probable three-party coalition would be hampered by internal policy differences, which will matter to those Europeans, such as Mr. Macron and the southern countries, who want quicker progress on the eurozone and banking union, as well as a more flexible interpretation of European debt regulations.
The position of the Free Democratic Party and its leader, Christian Lindner, in the future is regarded as crucial, particularly if he becomes finance minister in a new administration, as some speculate. The party is pro-business, favors tax reduction, and opposes the creation of additional debt. On a European level, it opposes greater financial union and communal debt, such as that which Ms. Merkel consented to, although reluctantly, in order to create a coronavirus recovery fund.
Despite being bent by huge public expenditure during the coronavirus epidemic, the Free Democrats reject a permanent relaxation of the norms regulating European debt. With significant additional expenditures required to fight climate change, Germany’s stance is certain to matter.
According to a top French official, returning to the previous standards of restricting budget deficits to 3% of GDP and overall debt to 60% of GDP is virtually impossible. But, he added, it’s best to let reality set in rather than pushing the matter too far.
Ms. Merkel will be missed and difficult to replace. Residents in 12 European Union countries were polled by the European Council on Foreign Relations to see who they would vote for in a hypothetical presidential election. In every nation, including his own, Ms. Merkel got more support than Mr. Macron.
On Monday, one day after the general elections, campaign signs were being taken down in Bad Segeberg, near Hamburg, and throughout Germany. Credit… Reuters/Fabian Bimmer
The Social Democrats in Germany won the election on Sunday, but it is unclear if they will head the next German government. If they do, however, the nation may witness a move toward a domestic agenda centered on social justice and climate change, as well as a foreign policy that stresses multilateralism and the development of the European alliance.
Mr. Scholz focused his campaign on domestic problems, promising decent employment to close the gap between higher incomes and those trying to find a place in society, as well as reviving the country’s climate-change goals.
Mr. Scholz promised to raise the minimum wage to 12 euros per hour, or $14 per hour, and to relax welfare changes enacted by the previous Social Democratic chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, who was booted out of office in 2005.
On Sunday, the Social Democrats emerged as the most powerful party, earning 25.7 percent of the vote in a poll that witnessed support from all sides of the political spectrum. The party also won both the Berlin and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania state elections.
Mr. Scholz expressed confidence in his ability to replace Chancellor Angela Merkel’s shoes on the European stage when asked on Monday.
He told reporters, “I have already expressed my personal point of view.” “I believe that one of the most significant points will be, first and foremost, the strengthening of the European Union.”
Mr. Scholz, who has served as Ms. Merkel’s deputy chancellor and finance minister for the last four years, was the driving force for a proposal to take on shared debt to aid economically weaker countries recover from the pandemic’s economic slump. To keep German people and businesses afloat in the face of the epidemic, he abandoned the country’s once-strict commitment to a balanced budget.
When asked whether he would be ready to assist Britain, which is experiencing a labor crisis, especially truck divers, he stated his stance on working with the nation that voted to exit the European Union in 2016.
“The European Union allows for free mobility of workers, and we fought very hard to persuade the British not to leave,” he added. “Now they’ve changed their minds, and I’m hoping they’ll be able to deal with the consequences.”
Mr. Scholz traveled to Washington in July to meet with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen about his attempts to push through a worldwide minimum corporation tax, a proposal that gained support from the Group of 20 nations a few weeks later. One of his long-standing pet interests has been the elimination of tax havens.
On Monday, the Christian Democratic Union’s candidate for chancellor, Armin Laschet, was seen visiting the party’s headquarters in Berlin. Credit… Getty Images/Maja Hitij
Armin Laschet, the leader of the conservative Christian Democratic Union, refused to accept defeat on Monday, instead presenting himself as someone who can create the bridges required to form the next German administration.
Mr. Laschet, speaking to reporters after a lengthy meeting of his party’s leaders, insisted that the rival Social Democrats, who won the most votes (25.7 percent), had no more right than his party to claim a mandate to form a government, despite the fact that the Christian Democrats received only 24.1 percent. Mr. Laschet’s candidacy was unpopular among his party’s right side, and there were accusations and recriminations on Monday.
Mr. Laschet did not resign or even congratulate his major opponent, although admitting that he had a role in his party’s poor performance. Instead, he attempted to portray both the Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats as losing equally, claiming that none had received 30% of the vote.
Mr. Laschet said, “It is obvious to us that no party can claim a mandate to form a government based on this outcome.” “No one should act as though he can create a government on his own.”
He went on to declare that his party will talk to all possible partners, including their usual coalition partners in government, the Free Democrats, who came in fourth, and the Greens, who came in third. Both parties received substantial voter support and are expected to form the next administration.
If the Greens and the Free Democrats can agree on important areas of contention, such as taxation and energy, they will certainly find themselves in the position of kingmaker, deciding which of the two major parties they want to rule with.
Mr. Laschet said, “Whoever can create a majority to support him will become chancellor.”
However, there was no escaping the fact that the outcome was very disappointing for the Christian Democrats, and that Mr. Laschet, 60, had been an unpopular candidate from the start. Voter patterns indicated that even elderly voters, the conservatives’ main constituency, moved their support to the Social Democrats.
In a post-election conference hosted by the German Marshall Fund, Julia Reuschenbach, a political science professor at Bonn University, remarked, “I can’t see how there is any possibility that Armin Laschet might become the next chancellor with this outcome.”
Franziska Giffey, a former cabinet minister and member of the Social Democrats, was elected mayor of Berlin. Credit… Associated Press/Lisa Leutner
BERLIN, Germany — Former East German cabinet member Franziska Giffey, a Social Democrat, is set to become Berlin’s mayor. She will be the city’s first female mayor since its establishment in 1237.
On Sunday, Berliners voted for their municipal government in addition to the federal Parliament.
Despite early predictions favoring the Greens on Sunday evening, the Social Democrats prevailed when votes were tallied late into the night. The Social Democrats received 21.4 percent of the vote, followed by the Greens (18.9%) and the conservative Christian Democrats (18.1%). Because no candidate received a majority of the vote, a coalition will be necessary, although Ms. Giffey seems to have the necessary backing.
Ms. Giffey, 43, was once considered one of Germany’s most promising Social Democrats, but she resigned as federal family minister this year after accusations that she plagiarized portions of her doctorate thesis. Her PhD was also taken away from her.
Because Berlin, with a population of 3.6 million people, is one of three German city-states, its mayor is also one of the federal republic’s 16 state governors.
The position is crucial from a political standpoint. It was inhabited by Willy Brandt, the first Social Democratic chancellor, and Richard von Weizsäcker, the first president of the reunified Germany, in the twentieth century alone.
On Friday, Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke at the Christian Democratic Union’s last campaign event in Munich. Credit… Getty Images/Thomas Kienzle/Agence France-Presse
Chancellor Angela Merkel will not step down from politics immediately, despite her party’s sweeping defeat in Sunday’s election.
She intended to attend a banquet given by the Roman Catholic Church in Berlin in the evening on Monday, in addition to her usual responsibilities.
Ms. Merkel, 67, did not contest for the seat she has held since the first reunified German Parliament was elected in 1990, but she will continue in office as leader of the acting, or caretaker, government until a new government is established.
Because the vote was inconclusive, it may be weeks or months before a new administration is established. Despite promises from all parties to have a new chancellor in place by Christmas, there is still a possibility that Ms. Merkel would deliver the traditional New Year’s Eve speech to the country as acting chancellor.
It took 171 days — almost six months — to establish a new administration after the previous election in 2017.
Ms. Merkel stated in the autumn of 2018 that she would not seek re-election and that she would relinquish leadership of her Christian Democratic Union party. Her authority as chancellor was undermined after that, as members of the C.D.U. jockeyed for her replacement. She had intended to remain out of the election campaign, but when the conservative candidate, Armin Laschet, began to lose popularity, she made numerous visits to help him.
If global circumstances allow, she is likely to attempt to guide the caretaker administration in a similar hands-off manner. The coronavirus epidemic, “apocalyptic” floods in western Germany, and the catastrophic departure from Afghanistan have all occurred in the latter two years of her fourth and last time in office.
Ms. Merkel will leave her office in the towering concrete structure that dominates Berlin’s government area once the next chancellor is sworn in.
It remains to be seen what she will do next. In answer to that topic, she has said in several interviews that she will first take time off to think and realign herself before deciding her next step.
After earning an honorary degree from Johns Hopkins University in July, she stated, “I’m going to take a pause and think about what truly interests me, since I haven’t had the opportunity to do that in the previous 16 years.”
“Then I’ll probably read for a while, and then my eyes will probably shut because I’m weary and I’ll sleep for a while,” she added, smiling. “Then we’ll see where I show up.”
Berlin’s lower chamber of parliament. Credit… Reuters/Michele Tantussi
What is the connection between a traffic light and the Jamaican flag?
Both words will be used a lot in the coming days, as a tight race between Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats has forced discussions about potential coalitions.
The parties will attempt to build a coalition government with a majority in the German Parliament in the weeks and months after yesterday’s election. The winning party in the election will get first go at forming the coalition, but if it fails, the runner-up will have the opportunity.
For the first time since the federal republic’s establishment 72 years ago, it seems like forming a stable administration would need at least three parties.
Here’s how things might go down:
Olaf Scholz’s party, which received 25.7 percent of the vote yesterday, is considering forming a Traffic Light Coalition. Its name is derived from the colors of the parties that would be included: the Social Democrats (red), the Free Market Liberal Free Democrats (yellow), and the Greens (green) (uh, green).
Meanwhile, Armin Laschet, who led the conservative Christian Democrats (black) to their worst loss in history, believes he can form a Jamaica Coalition, called after the Jamaican flag’s black, green, and yellow colors. The conservatives, Greens, and Free Democrats would make up this group.
The two main parties have ruled Germany in a “Grand Coalition” for the last eight years, but most political analysts believe it is improbable that they would do so again, despite having the required majority in parliament.
The Social Democrats and Greens have already governed Germany together — a so-called “Red-Green coalition” ruled from 1998 to 2005 — and have shown their readiness to do so again. However, they lack the seats required to gain a majority on their own this time.
Merkel’s conservatives and most of the conservative media warned throughout the campaign that an ascendant Social Democrats would turn to the far-left party, Die Linke, or The Left, to round out their numbers, as their popularity dwindled. However, that party performed so badly in Sunday’s election that a coalition of the Social Democrats, Greens, and the Left would fall short of achieving a majority.
At a rally against increasing rents this month in Berlin, protesters carried a sign saying “Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen & Co.” Credit… Reuters/Christian Mang
In eastern Germany, communist control ended more than three decades ago, but in Berlin, outrage over skyrocketing housing prices has resurrected at least one socialist concept.
Berliners voted in favor of seizing the property of big real estate firms in a referendum on Sunday. The campaign, dubbed “Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen & Co.” after one of the city’s most powerful landlords, asks for the confiscation of any business with more than 3,000 units.
The proposal, which received 56 percent of the vote, or over 1 million votes, is not binding on Berlin’s Senate, which would have to adopt a legislation to bring it into effect. The proposal will almost certainly be opposed by real estate firms as unconstitutional.
The decision, however, shows Berliners’ profound dissatisfaction with the city’s rising rents and housing prices, which have made it more expensive for middle- and low-income inhabitants.
The initiative’s organizers claim that the expropriation would be lawful, citing a Constitutional provision that permits the government to take property, natural resources, or means of production for the general benefit. (There is no mention of buildings in the clause.)
Activists promised to exert pressure on politicians to carry out the people’s wishes. In a statement, Kalle Kunkel, a spokesperson for the initiative, warned that disregarding the vote would be a major disgrace. “Until the socialization of housing companies is a reality, we will not give up.”
According to the company’s website, Deutsche Wohnen has around 100,000 apartments in Berlin. During a privatization push in the 1990s, many were bought from the government.
In a statement released Monday, the business said it respects the decision and will work with the city to improve the availability of affordable homes while avoiding rent hikes and evictions. Expropriation, according to Deutsche Wohnen, would be neither constitutional nor financially viable for Berlin.
As the results of Germany’s election became clearer on Monday, no party gained a clear majority, but the loser was obvious: Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats.
They saw their share of the vote drop by almost nine points after 16 years in power under Ms. Merkel’s leadership, receiving just 24.1 percent of the vote. The election marked the end of an era for Germany and Europe, since it was the party’s worst performance in its history.
According to preliminary official results released early Monday, the Social Democratic Party beat Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union by 1.6 percentage points. Olaf Scholz, the party’s candidate, claimed that the party’s five-point increase over 2017 — giving them 25.7 percent of the vote — gave them a mandate to create the next government.
It will almost certainly require at least three parties to create a government, and the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats had planned to conduct rival negotiations.
The political posturing in Germany began on Monday, as the two parties sought allies for a possible coalition. However, the two most significant prospective allies, the ecological Greens and the business-friendly Free Democrats, agreed to meet first.
Christian Lindner, the Free Democrats’ leader, said his party and the Greens, who are the most divided on important topics like taxation and renewable energy, needed to work out whether they could establish a “progressive middle” on which to go forward before engaging in further discussions.
Putting together a new administration may take weeks, if not months, of wrangling. This would put Europe’s largest democracy in uncertainty at a crucial time when the continent is still recovering from the epidemic and France — Germany’s partner at the heart of Europe — is set to have contentious elections next spring.
Clément Beaune, France’s deputy minister for European affairs, said on Monday morning on France 2 television that Germany had emphasized “a kind of moderation, stability, and continuity.”
“It is in the French interest to have a strong German administration in place as soon as possible,” he said, adding that he believes France and Germany would remain close allies regardless of whatever coalition forms. He described the major parties as “dedicated, at ease pro-Europeans.”
Ms. Merkel served as Germany’s chancellor and, in effect, Europe’s leader for more than a decade. She guided her nation and the continent through a series of crises, allowing Germany to reclaim its position as Europe’s dominant force for the first time since World War II.
When the exit polls were revealed early Sunday evening, the Social Democratic Party headquarters erupted in cheers. Supporters cheered and shouted “Olaf! Olaf!” as their candidate, Olaf Scholz, approached the platform to speak to the audience.
“People ticked the box for the S.P.D. because they want a change of administration in this nation and want the next chancellor’s name to be Olaf Scholz,” he said.
The election turned out to be the most tumultuous in decades. Ms. Merkel’s Christian Democrats’ candidate, Armin Laschet, was long considered the front-runner until a series of gaffes, exacerbated by his personal unpopularity, weakened his party’s advantage. Mr. Scholz had been written off completely until his calm demeanor guided his team to a stunning 10-point comeback. And the Greens, who had temporarily led the polls early on, fell short of expectations but nevertheless managed to achieve their highest ever result.
Mr. Laschet arrived at his party headquarters an hour after the polls closed, calling the results “unclear” and promising to form a government even if his party finished second.
Armin Laschet, the Christian Democratic Union’s chancellor candidate, spoke in Berlin on Sunday night. Credit… Clemens Bilan took this picture of the pool.
In comparison to the 2017 election, the progressive, ecological Greens made substantial gains, but fell short of a realistic chance at the chancellery.
Support for the far-right Alternative for Germany, or AfD, remained relatively constant, while the Left party seemed to be hanging around the 5% level required to gain seats in Parliament.
Aurelien Breeden contributed to the story as a reporter.
The germany election results wiki is a website that has articles about the German elections. It also includes information on what’s next for leadership in Germany.
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