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

Profile In Treason: The Inconceivable Evil Of John McCain—“Man Of Blood”

Transgender Wyoming woman convicted of sexually assaulting 10-year-old girl in bathroom

My daughter informed me last night what the olden days are

Cop Fired for Domestic Violence, Joins New Dept., Arrested Again for Domestic Violence—All In a Year

Coverup Questions Emerge Over Vegas Security Guard's 'Ellen' Appearance

2 former presidents — from both parties — blast the state of American politics in unprecedented day

Donald Trump Didn't Create Danger Of Presidential Dictatorship... He Inherited It

Judging by Mueller's staffing choices, he may not be very interested in justice

Bank Run Imminent: Catalan Separatists Urge Supporters To Pull Cash From ATMs On Friday Morning

George W. Bush Institute Summit, NYC: President Bush Remarks On The Crisis With North Korea (globalist neocon discontent, Nativism, White Supremacy) 10/19/17)

Break up the Google-Facebook-Amazon web monopoly

ICE Director: Suspected Wine Country Arsonist Is Illegal Alien Mexican National

Awful: Thad Cochran reportedly disoriented in the Senate

Will people now believe Corey Feldman about Hollywood abusers?

Obama’s name to replace Jefferson Davis on Jackson elementary school

Team Obama’s stunning cover-up of Russian crimes

Scalias All the Way Down

Kid Rock’s Senate Competition Is The Infamous Libertarian Convention Streaker

No Charge

Why hydrogen is becoming a big deal

Americans Are Winning: Empty Seats All Around The NFL In Week 6: You Have The Power!

Hillary Clinton Could Still Be Installed as President

When you die you know you're dead: Major study shows mind still works after the body shows no sign of life

Dressing as a clown could get you killed at Halloween, warns Florida sheriff who says people have a right to defend themselves

The human brain tripled in size over the last 8 million years because we ventured further afield and NOT because our social groups got bigger

Wounded casino security guard vanishes from Las Vegas — and reappears on the set of 'Ellen'

Does TV's obsession with fictional American traitors affect our view of government?

The twilight of the elites...in the European Union

Broadcast Networks Push An Anti-Gun Agenda After Vegas Shooting

6 Questions About the Vegas Massacre That Will Make You Wonder What They’re Hiding

Eyewitness account of rapid gunfire, muzzle flash, people shot at Tropicana, ‘blood on walls’: Las Vegas shooting

The helicopter gunner theory: Are Las Vegas police hiding the fact that a helicopter gunship stormed the festival?

Florida declares state of emergency ahead of Richard Spencer speech

Cops Respond to Bank Robber by Shooting His Hostage 9 Times

Florida girl, 9, dies after 325-pound woman sits on her as punishment

'I was running downstairs in heels with a cup of coffee and fell backwards!': Hillary Clinton appears on British TV show to promote her book hobbling on crutches and wearing a protective boot after BREAKING her toe

Man Busted for Meth That Was Actually Donut Glaze Gets $37,500 for His Trouble

LAS VEGAS SHOOTING VIDEO CHANGES EVERYTHING

Collins: 'I just felt that I couldn't walk away' from Senate (I do play a key role)

Polkark,from Masterpiece Theater on PBS

Cops Attack Fellow Cop, Handcuff, Shackle, Taser Him—for Being Sick

Clinton Foundation to keep Harvey Weinstein's $250,000 donation

Bergdahl declared jihad in captivity, secret documents show

Trump and the dismantling of Obama's legacy

Austrian 'whizz-kid' in election triumph

Trump Given A Subpoena For All Documents Relating To Assault Allegations

FBI 'Hand-In-Hand' With Vegas PD, Begin Damage Control: "There Is No Conspiracy... Nobody Is Attempt to Hide Anything"

Young Man Arrested for Underage Sex Was Re-Arrested for Sharing a Pizza with a 17-Year-Old

Donald Trump Is Handicapping Supreme Court Vacancies

Austrian Vote Nudges Europe's Balance to Right as Populists Gain


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: 512

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