[Home]  [Headlines]  [Latest Articles]  [Latest Comments]  [Post]  [Mail]  [Sign-in]  [Setup]  [Help]  [Register] 

Millennials' Political Views Don't Make Any Sense

College Student Charged with Felony for Waiting to Pull Over in Well-Lit Area, He Committed No Crime

That Time Donald Trump Filed A Lawsuit To Keep Up An Extra Large American Flag

Mexican Elites Secretly Agree With Donald Trump

Scott Walker’s Wife: One More Reason For SoCons To Worry? (Scott Walkers Wife Supports Same Sex Sandwiches)

Why the Democrats Will Do and Say Anything To Stop Donald Trump

Coulter called all the establishment Republicans in the 2016 field a “bunch of pussies.”

Donald Trump just released an epic statement raging against Mexican immigrants and 'disease'

Ouch! Massive Obamacare Premium Increases Will Dominate 2016

Bill Cosby Admitted to Drugging Woman with Quaaludes in 2005 Deposition

ESPN Pulls Event from Donald Trump Golf Course

Just Pay The Shipping - And I Will Fed-Ex You a Crate Of Cats

Polygamist who appeared on Sister Wives applies for a license to marry his second wife in wake of Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage

Greece should adopt a flat sales tax and end income taxes

Carr: Dependence Day celebration for Afghan deserter

Bloomberg: Good Luck Finding a Place to Hide as Global Markets Crumble

Surrey police officer bellows "I'm in charge here today, OK?" as she shuts down casual soccer game

Greece votes No: The European Union is dying before our eyes

Trade deals are no longer good deals

GREECE JUST TAUGHT CAPITALISTS A LESSON ABOUT WHAT CAPITALISM REALLY MEANS

Mainstream media claims Jade Helm fears are racist as media spin continues ahead of planned urban military exercise

Sign Petition: Don't Vote for Jeb Bush

Ted Cruz on Donald Trump: I ‘Salute’ Him

Then they came for Trump: Peterson warns of what's next if left can take down 'The Donald'

Kelly Thomas’ Last Words Before Police Beat Him To Death, Four Years Ago

What Did Lincoln Really Think of Jefferson?

Pope Francis to chew coca leaves during visit to Bolivia – minister “await the Holy Father” with the "sacred" leaves

College Football and Southern Culture: Coexistence Could Be In Danger

Bernie Sanders is a Sell Out - Guts Audit the Fed Amendment (May-7-2010)

In rebuke to EU, Greece appears to decisively reject bailout terms

Hey - Precious Metals - What's Happening?

Russia outraged by Poland's removal of Soviet war memorial

Greeks vote for 'destiny' in poll putting euro future in doubt

Five myths about the Founding Fathers

Illegal Aliens Disrupt Ann Coulter Book Signing, Author Fires Back

Tancredo: Independence Day, Time to Think Radical Thoughts

Anti-police brutality activists are “cultural brothers and sisters of that maniac racist murder in Charleston”

Red Lane: Merle Haggard Songwriter Dies At ‘Age 76′

Sorry, Donald Trump Has A Point

TRUMP HAMMERS RUBIO: ‘ZERO CREDIBILITY,’ ‘OUTRIGHT LIES’ TO SELL AMNESTY

GAME ON: TRUMP RESPONDS TO JEB

Cliven Bundy says Rand Paul promised to make Nevada a ‘sovereign state’ if he’s elected president

Bosnia: The cradle of modern jihadism? (The BBC kind of admits the Serbs were right)

Trump comes up top in 'poll of polls' of Republican voters - despite growing backlash over his anti-immigrant comments 'Poll of polls' shows Trump ahead of front-runner Jeb Bush

The Crossing (Best movie made of the Revolutionary War)

Sling TV

ISIS makes the British lion a declawed and shabby cat

At Age 3 — Transitioning From Jack To Jackie

Pilot Recounts Tales of SR-71 Blackbird

Texas wants its gold back inside the state's borders


Status: Not Logged In; Sign In

International News
See other International News Articles

Title: Merkel's Party Routed In Big German State
Source: REUTERS
URL Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012 ... w-result-idUSBRE84C09G20120513
Published: May 13, 2012
Author: REUTERS
Post Date: 2012-05-13 19:31:51 by Brian S
Keywords: None
Views: 250

By Stephen Brown

DUESSELDORF, Germany | Sun May 13, 2012 12:49pm EDT

(Reuters) - Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives suffered a crushing defeat on Sunday in an election in Germany's most populous state, a result which could embolden the left opposition to step up its criticism of her European austerity policies.

The election in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), a western German state with a bigger population than the Netherlands and an economy the size of Turkey, was held 18 months before a national election in which Merkel is expected to fight for a third term.

She remains popular in Germany for her steady handling of the euro zone debt crisis, but the sheer scale of her party's defeat leaves her vulnerable at a time when a backlash against her insistence on fiscal discipline is building across Europe.

According to first projections, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) won 38.8 percent of the vote and will have enough to form a stable majority with the Greens, who scored 12.2 percent.

The two left-leaning parties had run a fragile minority government for the past two years under popular SPD leader Hannelore Kraft, whose decisive victory on Sunday could propel her to national prominence.

Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) saw their support plunge to just 25.8 percent, down from nearly 35 percent in 2010, and the worst result in the state since World War Two.

"This is not a good evening for Merkel," said Gero Neugebauer, a political scientist at Berlin's Free University.

"The SPD is strengthened by this election, which will stir things up in Berlin."

The blow comes only two days before France's new president, Socialist Francois Hollande, is due to visit Berlin and press Merkel for a shift away from austerity and more emphasis on growth-oriented measures in Europe.

Other big countries like Italy also want Merkel to take a more balanced approach to the debt crisis and an election in Greece last week showed massive public resistance to tough austerity.

SPD MOMENTUM

Hollande's victory, coupled with the NRW result, is bound to give the SPD, which still trails Merkel in national opinion polls, new momentum before the federal vote in the autumn of 2013.

The chancellor needs the support of her rivals to pass a new "fiscal compact" that is meant to anchor budget discipline across the EU. The SPD is already pressing her to delay a parliamentary vote on the pact, keen for her to commit to new growth measures beforehand.

Many in her party will blame the result on regional leader Norbert Roettgen, Merkel's environment minister in Berlin, who bungled his campaign early on by refusing to commit to staying in the state in the event of a loss.

Roettgen ran on a platform of budget consolidation in a state that, with 180 billion euros in debt, is Germany's most indebted. Kraft, on the other hand, advocated a go-slowly approach to debt reduction, emphasizing the need to invest in cities, education and childcare.

In that sense, the result will be seen by some as a double defeat for Merkel. Voters in NRW not only rejected her party but also the austerity measures that she has forced on struggling southern states like Greece, Spain and Portugal.

The Free Democrats (FDP), a pro-business party that rules in coalition with Merkel's conservatives at the federal level, scored 8.6 percent to make it back into the state assembly. The party hailed the result as proof of a comeback after a collapse in support over the last three years.

The upstart Pirates, a new party that campaigns for internet freedom, continued their strong run at regional level, making it into their fourth straight state parliament, winning 7.6 percent of the vote.

NRW, a diverse state with struggling cities in the rust-belt Ruhr region and home to one third of Germany's blue-chip companies, has a history of influencing national politics.

Seven years ago, a humiliating loss for then-Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's SPD in the state prompted him to call early elections, which he subsequently lost to Merkel.

Post Comment   Private Reply   Ignore Thread  


[Home]  [Headlines]  [Latest Articles]  [Latest Comments]  [Post]  [Mail]  [Sign-in]  [Setup]  [Help]  [Register] 

Please report web page problems, questions and comments to webmaster@libertysflame.com